Press Release
January 28, 2008


Senator Edgardo J. Angara will head the Philippine delegation to the 2nd Conference of State Parties to the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia from January 28-February 2.

One of the key topics of discussion is monitoring, or how best to review countries' progress in using the Convention to prevent corruption. At the first Conference of States Parties in Jordan in December 2006, the participants decided that monitoring is necessary, which the UN considers a "huge step" for international anti-corruption work. The Bali conference aims to take this further by looking into ways to monitor countries' progress.

Angara will speak about the implementation of the UNCAC, asset recovery and RP's gains in its fight against corruption in addition to ratifying the UNCAC, which include strengthening the Ombudsman's office, improving the procurement process, and instituting campaign finance reforms.

The UNCAC presents, for the first time in international law, a global consensus on the gravity of the problem of corruption and the need to combat it on an international level. It rests on the four pillars of preventive measures, criminalization of corrupt acts, international cooperation and asset recovery. It is particularly important to developing countries, where public money is usually spirited out to and deposited in another country. Through the UNCAC, it is now easier to recover these looted assets and turn them over to the country from where they were stolen.

The Philippine Senate ratified the UNCAC last November 2006, making the Philippines only the second country in Southeast Asia to have done so. As a member of the executive board of the Ottawa-based Global Organizations of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), Angara chaired the sub-committee which helped draft some of the language of the UNCAC, as well as co-headed the Philippine delegation to Merida, Mexico, which signed the Convention in December 2003.

Angara is the author of the law creating the Ombudsman's office, as well as E-procurement law, which now stands as the Philippine's biggest anti-corruption measure. It overhauls what was then an obsolete and fraud-prone public procurement system. About P25 billion is saved through the application and implementation of the e-procurement law.

He is currently pushing for the passage of the Political Party Development Act, which will transform political parties into public institutions and provide state subsidy to political parties that will adopt an internal code of conduct and agree to public audit of their financial transactions.

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