“Extending more access to state informations and documents to its citizens shall definitely strengthen the very core foundation of a sound, free, and democratic governance. But this must not be too encompassing to adversely bear against our nation’s security,” said ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover in reactions to moves by some quarters to ‘raise back to life’ the Freedom  of Information bill (FOI) and fast-track its approval in Congress.

Acknowledging the need to open official documents and informations to the Filipino people, “This should be treated as a matter of right for every Filipino and in line with the policy of transparency of government,” he added.

However, in cautioning Malacañang against drawing up the bill in haste that President Aquino III shall endorse as a priority measure to Congress, Rep. Alcover said, “Certain quarters, particularly those insidiously seeking the eventual destruction and capitulation of our country’s democratic and free government and institutions, are conscientiously working to have this bill approved by Congress in record time.”

“Government should be reminded that without safeguards carefully tucked in it, the information and documents obtained later on may be used and eventually abused by these groups in its anti-government campaigns,” Rep. Alcover warned.

In recommending safeguards to the Malacañang initiated FOI bill, the sole pro-democracy solon in Congress explained that documents and information on national security concerns must be appropriately classified as to its degree of sensitiveness and risk, e.g. Classified, Secret, and Top Secret, together with the corresponding allowable period of time for these to be declassified for public consumption.

“I think 5-years for Classified documents, 7-years for Secret, and 10 years for Top Secret documents and information would be alright,” he explained.

“Even during Congressional hearings where vital and sensitive matters are discussed and official documents could be sought and opened up, public disclosures of these by any member of Congress must strictly be prohibited unless after a period of time that the FOI law shall provide,” he said.

Citing vital information and documents obtained by Maoist pseudo partylist Representatives during last year’s several committee hearings by some of the Congressional Committees, particularly the Committee on National Defense, “these material informations later on found its way in several anti-government forums initiated by the Maoist terrorist legal sectoral front organizations in the Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.

“The presence of callous personalities, whose ulterior interest is the total collapse of our freedom, democratic ideals, government institutions, and peace, is very much pronounced nowadays in every nook and space of the country’s governmental bureaucracy,” he said.

“It is my strong belief that doing the ‘Lazarus’ on the FOI measure was mainly due to the skillful manipulation by Maoist communist personalities and their allies who have successfully penetrated the inner sanctum of government,” Rep. Alcover said.

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