In 1986 at EDSA, the first people power revolt ended 21 years of a government so dark and so opaque, and ushered in one of light and transparency. The strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos was vanquished and democracy icon Corazon C. Aquino came to power.
A year later, the 1987 Constitution enshrined state policies of full transparency and accountability in the conduct of all public officials and employees, and of full public disclosure of information vested with public interest. The Constitution upheld the people’s right to know and be informed about all policies, projects, and programs of government that involve use of taxpayers’ money.
It is now 2012, or over 26 years after EDSA. Filipinos today are the most exuberant in their exercise of the freedoms of speech, of the press, and of peaceable assembly for redress of just grievances. But one other inelienable freedom that the Constitution also guarantees — Freedom of Information — remains just a bill perpetually stuck in the legislative wringer over the last 14 years, hobbled by the discombobulating “concerns” of the Executive, and mocked by restrictive administrative fiats of the judiciary, the House of Representatives, and even the Office of the Ombudsman.