President Rody Duterte's commitment to Freedom of Information (FOI) proves he is sincere in his desire to rid the government bureaucracy of corruption.
The strides of the FOI under the Duterte administration in less than a year is a stark contrast to its predecessor which was all bark and no bite.
Duterte could have simply washed his hands and point his finger to Congress, but he proved his commitment by signing the EO.
Without much ado, the FOI hit the ground running.
Like his war against drugs which drug protectors together with the yellow cult have openly opposed for obvious reasons, Duterte shows no signs of wavering in his implementation of the FOI.
In contrast, ex-Pres. Ninoy Aquino hemmed and hawed after declaring his "unequivocal" support for the FOI. Of course, he gave a lot of excuses but this does not hold water.
When he wanted things done, PNoy was not beyond running over due process and even the laws of the land.
If you have any serious doubts about his equivocation, simply recall how he marshaled the full force of the administration in the impeachment proceedings against the late Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Add to that the warrantless arrest of former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which was implemented by no less than his (In) Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Yes, contrary to the perception that PNoy was a lameduck, he was decisive when he wanted to like the two examples given.
He can only wag his tail in cowardly retreat if doing so would be convenient like when he shamelessly abandoned the Bangsamoro Basic Law despite his published commitment to it.
For sure, the FOI's implementation is expected to encounter rough sailing for obvious reasons. All those who have something to hide will raise all possible excuses not to comply with it.
Government functionaries who think they can skirt the FOI better count the cost before doing so.
According to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), the online publication of FOI manuals is now an indicator for good governance conditions.
The PCCO, however, also cautioned agencies that non-compliance with any of the good governance conditions will render the entire agency ineligible for the performance based bonus.
Make no mistake about it: President Duterte is sincere in his commitment to implement the FOI. There will be doubters and opponents, but it goes without saying that they will have to deal with the vaunted Duterte resolve to get things done.
When two opposite sides collide, one is bound to fail.
Who wins and who fails? Your guess is as good as mine.
Credits: Chito A. Fuentes |
Fuentes is a freelance journalist based in Davao City.