Stamping out Corruption

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Corruption is a social malady whose ramifications radiate from the highest echelons of power down to the smallest household. Its pervasiveness is, perhaps, its most lethal quality.

Hence, any effort to contain corruption requires broad and constant engagement from all sectors of society.

This is one of the key points taken up during the 4th Global Conference of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) which I attended here in Mexico City this weekend.

GOPAC's first monitoring report emphasizes that having engaged members is primordial in achieving a global plan to combat corruption. This will begin with informed parliamentarians who have the political will to become genuine advocates of both global and national anti-corruption efforts.

The underlying basis for the global fight against corruption is no less than the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the first legally binding instrument of its kind.

The Philippine Senate ratified the UNCAC back in November, 2006, which made us the second Southeast Asian country to have done so. As member of the GOPAC's executive board, I was able to help craft some of the language of the UNCAC.

Moreover, we established the Southeast Asian Parliamentarians against Corruption (SEAPAC) in 2005. As a regional chapter, SEAPAC supports the GOPAC's goals of curbing corruption, promoting good governance, and fostering accountability.

However, GOPAC's evaluation shows that much remains to be done toward forming a global plan that would strengthen parliamentary performance in abating corruption and ensuring that the implementation of the UNCAC remains the priority of all countries that signed the convention.

While the foundations have been established, support for the implementation, oversight, and review of the UNCAC in the parliamentary level is still lacking in many countries.

GOPAC, therefore, proposes that strong country chapters should be created to stimulate political and civil cooperation. …