A total of 429 foreign parliamentarians from 78 countries have confirmed their attendance to the 5th Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) anti-corruption conference to be held from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
Senator Edgardo Angara, vice chairman of the GOPAC executive committee and charter president of the Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC), hopes for successful staging of the event, the first of its kind to be held in the country.
With the presence of 428 foreign delegates, Angara said the confirmed attendance has reached almost six hundred, including 165 Filipino lawmakers.
“The confirmed attendance of over 500 anti-corruption delegates is a confirmation that our government’s anti-corruption efforts are gaining ground in the international community,” Angara said.
“This is our chance to show the world that we are seriously doing our part in cleaning up our government, in keeping with President Benigno Aquino III’s thrust of “daang matuwid (straight path),” he added.
President Benigno Aquino III is expected to give the keynote speech of the conference.
According to Angara, the conference will highlight an array of anti-corruption themes which include discussions on how effectively each GOPAC member country has implemented the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) that requires members to implement several anti-corruption measures which may affect their laws, institutions and practices.
“Corruption has the capacity to disrupt political stability, undermine the rule of law, and hinder a nation’s growth and development. This conference will allow us to update each other on the initiatives we have taken to curb corruption all over the world,” Angara said.
“Achieving good governance and fighting corruption can be strengthened by building networks among institutions. International cooperation is a key ingredient. Just as corruption transcends borders, so too must we fight it on a transnational level,” Angara added.
Local speakers include Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales who will be discussing the use of evidence to enforce anti-corruption laws, and Teresita Herbosa of the Anti-Money Laundering Council of the Philippines who will discuss anti-money laundering and bank secrecy laws.
For his part, Senator Franklin M. Drilon will moderate a discussion on the right to information and how civil society can help in the fight against corruption. He will be joined in the discussion by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and Maria Ressa, Chief Executive of Rappler.com.