Press Release
October 1, 2010


MANILA, PHILIPPINES -Members of the South East Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC) and Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) in a conference at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel, concluded the regional meeting with a new set of officers and the induction of new members.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, founding member of SEAPAC and host of the two-day anti-corruption conference, with Dr. Naser Al-Sane, GOPAC Chairman and former Member of the Kuwaiti Parliament, administered the oath of office to the new elected SEAPAC officers.

Following are the new set of officers:

Dr. Benny K. Harman of Indonesia, elected as vice president, is a lawyer at the Law Office of Abdul Hakim Nusantara & Partners. He obtained his Doctorate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Indonesia in 2006. In 1999 he co-founded Lembaga Pengkajian dan Advokasi Independensi Peradilan (LeIP) to advocate the strengthening of Judicial Power in order to support democracy. He has written numerous articles and papers on human rights issues and democracy. He serves as a member of Parliament for the period 2004 - 2009.

Philippine sectoral representative of Bagong Henerasyon, Bernadette Herrera-Dy, was elected Secretary. Bagong Henerasyon party-list represents the Filipino youth and women.

Philippine Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri who hails from Bukidnon was elected Treasurer. Zubiri is the author of significant laws, such as the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, the Socialized and Low-Cost Housing Loan Condonation Program; the Minimum Wage Earners Tax Exemption; The Cheaper Medicines Act; and the Agricultural Competitiveness and Enhancement Fund Extension. He is also considered the "Father" of the New Cooperative Code being the principal author and sponsor of the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008.

Meanwhile, Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, founding member of SEAPAC, retains his seat as the organization's president. Angara has championed many landmark laws in education, health, the arts, culture, social welfare, economics and agriculture. Angara, an anti-corruption crusader, principally authored and sponsored the Government E-Procurement Reform Act, the country's biggest anti-corruption measure in history.

SEAPAC members also elected new Executive Committee Members, composed of the following lawmakers:

Sen. Loren Legarda, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, is the principal author of many laws with national significance, such as the Clean Air Act, the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Act, the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act, the law increasing the base pay and benefits of AFP officers and enlisted personnel, the Overseas Absentee Voting Act, the Anti-Smoking Law, the Anti-Child Labor Law, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law, and the Anti-Domestic Violence Act, among others.

Currently a member of the Bangladesh parliament, retired Brigadier Geneneral Sk. Abu Bakr served in the Bangladesh Army for 25 years. He also served as a senior Diplomat in Bangladesh overseas missions.

His Excellency, Mr. Hou Sry, member of Cambodia's National Assembly, is the country's Secretary of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information and Media.

Dr. Cipriana da Costa Pereira, is a member of the Constituent Assembly of Timor Leste (East Timor).

Kamarudin Jaffar of Malaysia, currently a member of the Parliament of Malaysia for the Tumpat constituency in Kelantan. He is a member of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

Also in the group was Professor Md. Ali Ashraf of Bangladesh. Ashraf is the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Finance and concurrently a member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Planning.

Other Filipino member-parliamentarians who took oath as new SEAPAC members were Rep. Acmad Tomawis, of Marawi City; Rep. Chona Cruz-Gonzales, sectoral representative of Citenzen's Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) party-list; Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan, of the province of Benguet; and Rep. Nelson P. Collantes of Batangas. Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara is a founding member of SEAPAC when it was organized in Manila in 2005.

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