Press Release
October 9, 2010


After the Aquino administration's first one hundred days in power, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago underscored transparency and accountability in the presidency as cornerstones of good governance.

"The Constitution mandates transparency in policy-making and in the operations of the government," Santiago said. "Armed with information on matters of public concern, citizens can participate in public discussions leading to the formulation of government policies and their effective implementation. An informed citizenry is essential to the existence and proper functioning of any democracy."

According to Santiago, the Supreme Court has ruled that: "The right to information goes hand in hand with the constitutional policies of full public disclosure and honesty in the public service. It is meant to enhance the widening role of the citizenry in governmental decision-making as well as in checking abuse in government."

The senator filed Senate Bill No. 1528, also known as the Presidential Records Act, which aims to provide for the management, custody, and access to presidential records consistent with the constitutional mandate of transparency and accountability in government.

Santiago said that her bill does not, however, seek to confirm, limit, or expand the President's executive privilege.

The bill gives the state the complete ownership, possession, and control of Presidential records, and provides that the President take all steps necessary to assure that all the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his or her duties are adequately documented.

It also grants the Director of the National Archives the responsibility for the custody, control, and preservation of, and access to, the Presidential records upon the conclusion of a president's term of office. The Director of the National Archives also has the duty to make the records available to the public as rapidly and completely as possible.

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