A Critique Paper on the Freedom of Information Bill

The People’s right to know is a basic concept in a democratic country. It means that the citizens of a certain democratic country, have a right to know the activities happening in the government. Since the people themselves voted for the officials in the government, it follows that these people must be well-informed of the activities in the government. Moreover, for people to know the things that are happening in the government, it follows that the government should observe transparency. But citizens also have to understand that there are certain activities in the government which are deemed as ‘top secret’ because of their nature. These classified activities are of course identified as top secret because of legal criteria. It is the job of the government to effectively explain which activities are classified and which are not.

Invasion of privacy occurs when a person or a group of person acquires the personal information of a certain personality or a group of personalities without his/her/their permission. Invasion of privacy also occurs when a person, eg. A journalist, shares a personal information about a certain personality or a group of personalities without that person’s/group of persons’ knowledge or permission.

Libel and defamation is a statement expressed in any form of communication (print, video, etc.) which puts a person’s/a group of person’s reputation in bad light and eventually destroys and taints it. Usually, if one utters a negative statement against another person without appropriate facts, the person which receives the negative statement can file libel and defamation against the person who tried to destroy his/her reputation.

Freedom of Information is the people’s right to access government records and documents.Personally, I want the Freedom of Information Bill to be passed as a law. If that actually happens, it will be a great help to lawyers, mediamen and even ordinary citizens as this will improve the government’s transparency. The mediamen, being able to access the right government records and documents first hand can report the exact truth to the masses. The lawyers, on the other hand, can improve their knowledge in legal matters if they can access certain records and documents in the government.  I myself, if I will be a journalist someday, would like to gain access of the government records and documents related to Marcos declaration of Martial Law. It would be great and fascinating to know and examine how Marcos changed the Philippine Constitution to fit his goals and desires. Having access to these files would also help me as a journalist inform a more truthful part of our history since I have gained access to these files first hand.

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