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RP has ‘long way to go’ vs corruption–Ombudsman

Posted by Abi Kwok on August 26, 2008

Better ‘enforcement, prevention, promotion’ needed

By Abigail Kwok
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 11:53:00 08/26/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has a “long way to go” before it could completely get rid of corruption but was nonetheless “on track” towards solving this “menace,” Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez said.

In a press conference Tuesday, Gutierrez told media that the country needed to improve on “enforcement, prevention, and promotion.”

She said that with the help of member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, there would be an “enhanced mutual cooperation” in handling corruption.

“There is a need to have collaborative efforts with other countries to enhance our own efforts to fight corruption. International groups headed by the Office of the Ombudsman held a joint meeting to develop programs and policies against graft and corruption,” said Gutierrez.

More than 50 delegates from Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, and Thailand, gathered at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila to present papers on how each country handled corruption and to suggest means on how to prevent it.

Gutierrez said the two-day forum would protect the country against government officials who have laundered and used local taxes for corrupt practices.

“Corruption is the new social cancer Jose Rizal pointed out…for developing nations in particular, corruption is a menace,” she said.

Case studies to be presented will include the Marcos wealth and the plunder case of former president Joseph Estrada who has since been pardoned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Objectives of the meeting include establishing and strengthening collaborative efforts against corruption and increasing the capacity and institutional building among member countries.

Papers will also be presented by the anti-corruption unit of Brunei and Cambodia and the corruption eradication commission in Indonesia.

The delegates are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on Thursday on preventing and combating corruption.

***

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