P-Noy addresses issues he "skipped" in his SONA: RH Bill, Freedom of Information Bill, Hacienda Luisita

(SPOT.ph) President Noynoy Aquino continued to explain his State of the Nation Address to critics in his one-on-one interview with GMA News’ Jessica Soho. After clarifying his "tuwid na daan" vision in a previous report, Aquino answered why he allegedly skirted over crucial topics like the Reproductive Health Bill, Freedom of Information Bill, and the Hacienda Luisita controversy.

 

Aquino revealed that the RH Bill would be finalized by the third or fourth quarter of the year. "Anong pakinabang nino man na ’yong proponents and ’yong antagonists of the bill to discuss it when we are almost at the stage na tapos na ’yong debate (What’s the use of discussing it when we’re almost at a point where the debate is over)?" he asked. As for the Hacienda Luisita case, Aquino added that the Supreme Court has already made a ruling so he has nothing left to say.


According to Aquino, the FOI Bill, however, is more complicated. Though he understands the citizens’ right to information, Aquino said the repercussions of the bill in its absolute terms include releasing minutes of Cabinet meetings. "Subject to libel laws na yun... Kapag may diskusiyon sa Cabinet meetings, magpapalitan nga kayo ng inpormasyon, ng ideas, definition of problems, solutions tapos biglang lahat mananahimik na ngayon, anong mangyayari sa mga meeting (In Cabinet meetings, we exchange information and ideas, define problems, and provide solutions during discussions. If the meeting becomes subject to libel laws, Cabinet members could suddenly stop talking. What would happen then)? " The President was quick to reassure that the bill is still a priority. "Focus pa rin natin yan, interesado tayo diyan," he said. 


When asked about comments some people have made about his "laziness," the President targeted proponents of the former administration, saying: Saan nanggagaling yung lahat na resulta (Then where did the results come from)? And why couldn’t they do it in the nine and a half years that they were there?" He added that when former President Gloria Arroyo assumed presidency, she faced only $12 billion in debt while Aquino is dealing with $177 billion. "Ganun bang kasipagan ang gusto niyo (Is that the kind of diligence you want)?" Answering criticism that he balks too much at Arroyo’s mistakes, he asked: "’Di ba dapat tanungin natin siya ’Binigyan ka ng pagkakataong ganito, bakit ito yung ginawa mo’ (Shouldn’t we ask her why she did all that she did when she was given this opportunity)?"

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The President on the Freedom of Information Bill


President Noynoy Aquino answers critics in one-on-one interview with Jessica Soho

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