Sunday’s masses nationwide appeal to Nograles, et al: ratify FOI

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 30 May) — Masses will be offered across the country to appeal to House Speaker Prospero Nograles’ and his colleagues’ “patriotism and commitment to the 1987 Constitution,’’ and ratify the Freedom of Information bill in Congress.

Last Monday, supporters of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act staged a picket at the Freedom Park to pressure Nograles, the outgoing three-term 1st district representative who lost the mayoralty race to Sara Duterte on May 10, into pushing for the FOI’s ratification.

“Dear Nogie, make FOI your legacy,” placards carried by members of the Right to Know, Right Now Mindanao movement said.

The FOI bill had been approved by the bicameral conference committee and ratified by the Senate. The proposed legislation only needs House ratification before it could be signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Redmond Batario, head of the Right to Know, Right Now movement, said Nograles needs only seconds if he agrees to put into the agenda the proposed FOI law, which has been pushed for four congresses already.

“To the last minute, giving up is not a choice for us. Twelve years is too long for a basic right,” according to Batario, who led the protest in Davao’s downtown Claveria-Roxas junction.

In an earlier press statement, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo had said, “we keep faith that you will not fail us today and leave a legacy of ushering Philippine politics and institutions towards the path of truth, accountability and moral governance.

Pabillo, also chair of CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace will preside over the 4 p.m. Mass at the St. Peter Church along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City today (Sunday).

In Cagayan de Oro, Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, will also preside over the 4 p.m. mass at the Cathedral of St. Augustine.

The CBCP website quoted Ledesma as saying he believes the House Speaker and the lawmakers from the House of Representatives “know in their hearts and consciences that the Freedom of Information law will be good for the country and its people.”

“We urge them, appeal to their sense of what is good and right – to ratify the FOI bill on Monday, May 31 as it would not take them longer than five minutes to do this,” he added.

In Cebu City, Augustinian missionary Fr. Tito Soquino will celebrate the 4 p.m. mass at the Basilica Minore of Sto. Nino de Cebu in support of the Right to Know Right Now! campaign. (MindaNews)