Press Release
May 22, 2008


Senator Mar Roxas said the executive should restore the people's trust in the country's institutions, by releasing the documents on the National Economic Development Authority-Investment Coordinating Committee (NEDA-ICC) on the controversial National Broadband Network (NBN) deal's approval.

"The NEDA employees themselves could not hide their discontent over how transparency is not being exercised in relation to the NBN deal. It's a resounding call for the truth in governance and for integrity of their institution that the government could not dare ignore," the co-chair of the Senate joint panel investigating the broadband deal said.

"Hindi na matiis ng NEDA employees ang kung papaanong itinatago at ipinagkakait ang impormasyong dati namang bukas sa publiko. Ayaw na nilang madawit at magpagamit sa patuloy na pagtaklob sa katotohanan (The NEDA employees could not stand how information that's normally public is being concealed. They don't want to be used in the continued stonewalling of the truth)," he added.

Roxas, Liberal Party President, noted how executives have continued to stonewall and use delaying tactics on efforts to release the NEDA-ICC documents on the NBN, such as asking for more than 90 days' worth of extension to submit their comments on the petition filed by Roxas and Senator Noynoy Aquino, a fellow Liberal, on October 26 last year.

"These documents are key to finding out the root of this fiasco: on how and why the government suddenly decided that the NBN--previously a private-sector, build-operate-transfer project, with no government expense or guarantee--will be engaged as a government-funded project, with a loan to be shouldered by the public," he stressed.

"The administration has adopted a 'minimal disclosure policy' through the incorrect and irresponsible use of 'executive privilege.' This is what we seek to correct through this petition, and even with this, they are stonewalling instead of facing the issue squarely," he added.

Roxas is author of Senate Bill No. 109, the Free Information Act, that would require government offices to answer requests for public information within two days, and would impose penalties on those who are unable to provide this information, unless a valid reason is given. A counterpart bill has been passed by the House of Representatives on final reading, last week.

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