Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has promised to issue an executive order on the implementation of the proposed Freedom of Information Bill on Day One of his administration, Tina Panganiban-Perez's report on Balitanghali showed.
"Kung ayaw ng Congress, I will start with this progressively. Para walang satsat, walang yakyak, Day One, Freedom of Information, I will impose it on my department, the executive department," Duterte told reporters in an interview.
"Unahan ko na. I will issue an executive order. Hindi na kailangan ng batas.... Media and everybody else is welcome to dig deep into the papers," he added.
A campaign promise of President Benigno Aquino III in 2010, the FOI failed to pass both the 15th and 16th Congresses during his administration.
The transparency measure makes available the details of government transactions, officials' statements of assets, liabilities and net worth, and other official documents to the media and the public, subject to certain conditions such as national security concerns.
Duterte's camp has revealed the members of the presumptive president-elect's transition panel that would coordinate with counterparts assigned by Aquino III.
According to Peter Laviña, the team includes himself and the following:
- campaign manager Leoncio Evasco;
- assistant campaign manager and head executive assistant Christopher "Bong" Go;
- campaign finance committee head Carlos G. Dominguez;
- and lawyers Salvador Medialdea and Loreto Ata.
The team will coordinate with the Aquino administration for the smooth transition of government.
With seven weeks left in his administration, Aquino has reached out to the Duterte camp to begin talks on the transition process.
In a statement relayed to reporters by Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., Aquino said: “I talked to [Duterte's executive assistant] Bong Go yesterday to relay to Mayor Duterte that an Administrative Order (AO) is being drafted designating the Executive Secretary (Paquito "Jojo" Ochoa) as head of the transition team.”
“I further offered that the Cabinet stands ready to brief his team on any and all of their concerns. Lastly, we are committed to effecting the smoothest transition possible,” Aquino said.
Duterte has consistently led the presidential race with at least six million votes ahead of second-placer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, the administration standard bearer. Roxas has since conceded defeat to Duterte. —NB, GMA News