Press Release
September 7, 2011


Ottawa, Canada--Senator Edgardo J. Angara revealed today that world-renowned leaders in good governance would be invited to speak at the 2013 international conference of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) which will be held in Manila.

Angara hopes that no less than Lee Kuan Yew, founding father and former Prime Minister of Singapore, will lead the prestigious group of speakers.

"We are now busy preparing to host this large anti-corruption conference. A number of key global players, including President Aquino, have already pledged their support for this event--an incomparable opportunity for us to show that we are serious in combatting corruption," Angara said.

Angara, Vice Chair of GOPAC's Executive Committee, continued, "We consider this a strong vote of confidence in our commitment to stamp out corruption and bring about better governance--not only in the Philippines but across Southeast Asia."

About 350 to 400 parliamentarians from 90 member countries are expected to gather in Manila from January 31 to February 2 for the global conference. Considered one of the largest and most important anti-corruption events in the world, the GOPAC global conference is expected to also draw current and former heads of states, members of the civil society, cabinet members, members of the judiciary and the academe.

Eminent speakers who would be invited to the event are Paul Wolfowitz, former President of the World Bank; Jose Edgardo Campos, Adviser to the Vice President on Governance and Political Economy, World Bank Institute; Prof. Lawrence Lessig, Harvard law professor who is conducting research on the effects of institutional corruption; Tony Kwok, former Deputy Commissioner and Head of Operations of the Independent Commission on Anti-Corruption (ICAC) of Hong Kong; Peter J. Ainsworth, Senior Deputy Chief of the US Department of Justice Public Integrity Section; Richard Alderman, Director of the Serious Fraud Office of the United Kingdom; Wanjala Smokin, Former Assistant Director of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission; O'Keefe Barry, former Commissioner of the Independent Commission against Corruption; Labelle Huguette, member of International Anti-Corruption Academy and Chair of the Board of Transparency International; Hershman Michael, Chair of the International Anti-Corruption Academy; and Conchita Carpio-Morales, Ombudsman of the Philippines and former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Angara was the driving force behind the establishment of the South East Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC), which leads regional anti-corruption efforts on a coordinated and institutional basis. Parliamentarian-members from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines make up the membership of the SEAPAC.

Angara sponsored landmark laws on government procurement that radically overhauled the rules of bidding and awards in the public sector, and now stands as the country's biggest anti-corruption law. He also created the Ombudsman's Office and pushed for the ratification of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) by the Philippine Senate.

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