MANILA, FEBRUARY 4, 2012 (ABS-CBN) Sa una’y nabigla pa ang Korean TV host na si Grace Lee nang makorner namin kanina sa Ortigas.

Ito’y sa kanyang private meeting sa manager niyang si Arnold Vegafria.

Ilang araw na nilang tinatanggihan ang media mula nang pumutok ang pagkakaugnay niya kay Pangulong Noynoy Aquino.

Pero ilang sandali pa, naging magiliw na itong nagkomento sa headline news sa pagkumpirma ni PNoy na nagde-date sila.

Ayon kay Grace, bago pa lang silang nagkakilala ni PNoy, na una niyang naka-engkwentro nu'ng Hunyo 2011 sa Cebu.

“We are dating. We are starting so sana everyone would give us time and space to know each other more. To be liked by a man who leads a country is very flattering but of course I’m worried and my family is worried also on the public attention. I just didn’t think it would happen this fast,” sabi ni Grace.

Lee Kyung Hee sa tunay na buhay, 10 taon pa lang si Grace nang mag-migrate ang kanyang pamilya mula Korea sa Pilipinas noong dekada 90.

Nag-graduate ng Interdisciplinary Studies, Communication and Chinese studies si Grace sa Ateneo de Manila University.

Inamin ni Grace, ang una niyang inisip ang sasabihin ng publiko sa isyu ng pagkakaiba nila ng lahi ni PNoy.

“I was kind of worried about that but ‘yun nga eh, it’s the reason why I fell in love with the Philippines in the first place, so accepting and so understanding,” sabi ni Grace.

Nagsilbi siyang Korean interpreter sa Malacañang noong 2005 at nagkaron ng iba't-ibang TV at radio shows.

Hindi raw niya akalain na pagtatagpuin sila ni PNoy.

"He’s such a gentleman. When he acknowledged it, I think it was out of respect to me because he doesn’t need this but he did and that tells you a lot about what kind of man he is. He’s such an inspiring character,” sabi ni Grace.

Natawa lang si Grace sa isyu ng wedding proposal ng Pangulo.

Pero anu't-anuman ang tatahakin ng namumulaklak nilang relasyon, handa na si Grace sa 360 degrees na pagbabago sa buhay ng kanyang pamilya.

“At least whatever we have right now will serve as an inspiration to a lot of people out there,” sabi ni Grace.

Tila maaga naman ang Valentine’s date ni Grace dahil sa pagdiriwang ng birthday ni PNoy sa February 8.

“What can you give the President, right? It’s so difficult. But I’m brewing something up. Surprise na lang,” sabi ni Grace. -- Mario Dumaual, Patrol ng Pilipino


PNoy submits Palace version of FOI bill to Congress by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News Posted at 02/02/2012 11:15 PM | Updated as of 02/02/2012 11:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino has submitted to the House of the Representatives the Palace version of the Freedom on Information (FOI) bill.

"This afternoon, we formally submitted to our coalition partners in the House of Representatives a substitute Freedom of Information Bill, which we believe addresses stakeholders' desires to have more transparency and more access to information in government," he said.

"We want every other administration voted into power to work under the same standard of transparency and accountability that we have set for ourselves. This is a significant step toward achieving that goal," Aquino said in his speech during the 112th anniversary celebration of the Manila Bulletin.

Aquino did not provide details of the bill's contents.

In a press briefing on January 4, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Undersecretary Manolo Quezon said that the Palace would be supporting essentially the bill filed by Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, only with inputs from the Palace.

Quezon said that the only "intervention" the President did in the version created by the Palace study group is to have the proposal to create an information commission removed.

The Palace study group proposed a commission "that would act as a referee" in complaints over the release of certain requested information.

"The reason the President gave was that he felt that it would another layer of bureaucracy. The President is of the view that it should be the DOJ [Department of Justice] and the Ombudsman as proposed in the original," Quezon said.


In The Know: The FOI Bill Philippine Daily Inquirer

During the 14th Congress, the Senate ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill but the House of Representatives failed to do so due to a lack of quorum on its last session day.

Several versions of FOI bill were filed in the 15th Congress and have been pending at the committee level in both the House and the Senate.

The measure seeks to allow the public to obtain records of government transactions, meetings and other businesses, a right enshrined in the Constitution.

The measure also provides a definite procedure in dealing with requests for information and seeks to penalize officials denying access to information, according to House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III, a principal author of the FOI bill.


However, there are proposed exceptions to what can be disclosed to the public, such as the following:

Information relating to national defense when its revelation will cause grave damage to the internal and external defense of the State; Information pertaining to foreign affairs when its revelation unduly weakens the diplomatic relations of the Philippines with one or more states and the position of the government in an ongoing bilateral or multilateral agreement; Personal information of a person other than the requesting party and its disclosure would constitute clearly unwarranted invasion of his or her personal privacy; Information obtained in executive sessions of the legislature. Reservations

President Benigno Aquino III, who had promised to support the bill during the 2010 presidential campaign, had expressed reservations over the measure.

“You know, having a freedom of information act sounds so good and noble but at the same time—I think you’ll notice that here in this country—there’s a tendency to get information and not really utilizing it for the proper purposes,” he said during an open forum at the gathering of Southeast Asian leaders last September.

The Aquino administration has crafted a four-year good governance and anticorruption plan that will run from 2012 to 2016.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, who presented the plan to the media last Tuesday, said that the transparency policy being set was “setting the ground and laying the foundation of a meaningful FOI law.” Ana Roa, Inquirer Research

Sources: Inquirer Archives,

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved