Press Release
January 29, 2008

RP AFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO UN CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION
Senator Angara leads RP Delegation to UN Anti-Corruption Meet in Bali

Bali, Indonesia - Describing the fight against corruption as a "multidimensional, multisectoral undertaking", Senator Edgardo J. Angara challenged the international community today to translate the objectives of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) into practicable and enforceable measures.

Senator Angara issued this call during his address to the Conference of the States Parties to the UNCAC, which was holding its Second Session to review the implementation of the Convention

and consider ways to advance international cooperation to prevent and combat corruption. The Senator urged delegates to forge a "practical, acceptable and concrete plan to make the UNCAC a relevant and meaningful instrument."

Touching on the Conference's mandate to review the progress of governments in enforcing the UNCAC, the Senator lauded the Conference for adopting a constructive set of guiding principles founded on transparency, non-intrusiveness, impartiality, and the avoidance of ranking-based approaches.

Senator Angara, who has authored some of the most important anti-corruption laws in Philippine history such as the Procurement Reform Act and the Ombudsman Law, informed the Conference of the gains achieved by the anti-corruption and good governance programmes being implemented by RP's anti-corruption agencies, the legislature, the judiciary, as well as the Office of the Ombudsman, the country's independent anti-corruption authority.

"We see our anti-corruption measures as building blocks to economic confidence and the sustainability of our economic progress", noted Senator Angara, as he outlined key RP anti-corruption measures such as lifestyle checks on public officials, procurement reforms, the opening of government projects to public scrutiny, the enactment of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), electoral automation and campaign finance legislation, and Congress' adoption of a more focused annual national budget. The Senator also highlighted the priority accorded by President Arroyo to "Anti-Corruption through Good Governance".

The Second Session of the Conference of States Parties will focus on negotiating measures relating to three key issues: implementation, technical assistance and asset recovery. It will also deal with criminalization, prevention and international legal cooperation.

It will also feature various side events, meetings and workshops dealing with various aspects of corruption. Senator Angara is scheduled to lead the Philippine delegation in a Ministerial Roundtable on Asset Recovery on 29 January, which will highlight, among others, the Philippine experience vis--vis the Marcos assets in Switzerland and RP's resulting contributions to the advancement of international cooperation in this field.

The week-long high-level Bali Conference is being attended by senior ministers, policy-makers, anti-corruption experts, private sector representatives, civil society organizations, and artists from around the world. Headed by Senator Angara, the Philippine delegation includes Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez, Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, AMLC Executive Director Vicente Aquino, PAGC Chair Constancia de Guzman, as well as officials from the DFA and the PCGG.

The UNCAC, which entered into force on 14 December 2005, is the first legally-binding global anti-corruption instrument. To date, 105 countries have ratified the Convention. The Philippines was the fourth country to sign the instrument during the High-Level Signing Conference in Merida, Mexico, in 2003, and became a State Party in November 2006.

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