Mamasapano, FOI left out in Aquino’s last Sona
On his last State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday,July 27, President Benigno Aquino III cited and acknowledged some of the significant achievements and issues of his administration.
Yet not all the important points were raised in the speech that was delivered for two hours and 12 minutes, the longest of his six Sonas since 2010.
One of the important issues that was completely snubbed in the Sona was the botched police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao where 44 members of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were killed in January.
The failed operation was aimed at arresting Jemaah Islamiyah-affiliated terrorists Marwan and Abdul Basit Usman. But the policemen were killed by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) during an encounter.
Aquino also did not say a word on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill authored by Representatives Leni Robredo of Camarines Sur and Henedina Abad of Batanes.
The Senate passed the measure on March 10, 2014. For its third and final reading, it received 22 affirmative votes, no abstention and no negative votes.
The FOI bill authorizes the disclosure of public documents and outlines the exceptions for public disclosure and the procedures to gain access to public documents.
Another issue that was totally set aside in Aquin’s final Sona was the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that the Supreme Court had partly declared unconstitutional as it encroached on the power of the legislature to appropriate funds.
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