SCRATCH five days, four session days to go.
Not a word was heard or spoken again about the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill at the House of Representatives today, Tuesday.
The session started at past 4 p.m., was marred by intermittent suspensions, and finally ended at 5:20 p.m. Yet again, there was no quorum at the chamber.
The House reverted back to uncanny silence on the FOI even after a brief show of interest in the bill when sponsorship speeches by two lawmakers were allowed on Monday.
Yesterday’s quorum receded back to no-quorum today.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. who showed up on Monday, was again a no-show on the floor on Tuesday. Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, meanwhile, was seen briefly strutting around the session hall.
Cavite Rep. Crispin Remulla Jr. presided over Tuesday’s session that was suspended on and off, until finally it closed with not even an hour spent on official business.
The lawmakers merely breezed through the day. They barely warmed their seats and tackled just the little, light things.
First, they welcomed a delegation of US legislators and their staff who are guests of Belmonte, it was announced. Next, the lawmakers passed a handful of local bills, with the secretariat reading the bills’ titles into the chamber’s records, at formula-one speed.
Without any lawmaker rising to move to suspend the session, the acting majority leader moved to call it a day. By 5:20 p.m., the session was over.
On Monday, Rep. Ben Evardone, chairman of the Committee on Public Information, and Rep. Lorenzo Tanada III, main author of the FOI bill, were at least allowed to deliver their sponsorship speeches.
Two other co-authors, Rep. Teddy Baguilat and Rep.Sherwin Tugna, were prepared to deliver their own sponsorship speeches, but the House minority stomped them.
Is the House’s feigned support for the FOI bill over?
This much is clear: On Tuesday at the chamber, not a soul spoke a word about the FOI bill again.