Thursday, September 27, 2012


MANILA, September 27, 2012-Dimitri Vlassis, Chief of the Corruption and Economic Crime Section Division for Treaty Affairs in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODOC) will visit Manila for the 5th Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) Conference hosted by the Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC) and the Philippine Senate. The conference will be held at PICC from January 30 to February 2, 2013. 

In Mr. Vlassis's paper on Transnational Organized Crime, he says that there is a clear connection between corruption, money laundering, and organized crimes. He explains, "Money laundering is a vital component of all forms of organized crime. The infiltration of legal financial markets and the attempts of organized crime to control sectors of national economies through the laundering of its illicit proceeds continue to represent grave threats to the international community and to both national and international financial systems." The problem of corruption is a globalized one, and the response should be at both the local and global level. 

GOPAC, the only anti-corruption organization composed of parliamentarians, has a Global Task Force (GTF) specific to Anti-Money Laundering. This Anti-Money Laundering Global Task Force (GTF-AML) works with anti-money laundering experts and organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), UNODOC, Interpol, the Egmont Group and Transparency International. It conducts workshops for member-lawmakers to help them advance better legislation against money laundering and other corruption-related offenses. 

In the Philippines, President Aquino ratified two laws last June as part of the administration's anti-corruption thrust namely the measure strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering Law and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012. These laws will help the country comply with the international standard set by the FATF of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  

"Money laundering vs. Bank Secrecy Laws" is expected to be one of the hot topics at the GOPAC Conference. The conference is expected to attract over 200 parliamentarians and 300 observers from over 46 countries.

For more information, please visit


MANILA, September 27, 2012-Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan says that political parties looking to coalesce with the Liberal Party are welcome, as long as they know who's in charge.

“For as long as it is understood that they, too, will support the anti-corruption and anti-poverty agenda of the President, then they have a seat in the table. Having said this, it should also be very clear to our coalition partners that it is President Aquino who sits at the head of the table and it is his reform agenda that is to be pursued. The moment any of our allies become stumbling blocks to reforms then it would be time to part ways.”

Pangilinan continues, “Nelson Mandela once said that in a democracy we need to learn to work with people we dislike, in reference to those who in the past supported apartheid. For as long as we are all clear that it is the President who calls the shots, then it is incumbent upon the LP to build the broadest unity possible among various political forces willing to lend their support to the President's reform agenda.”

Constitutional agencies pass Senate budget hearing, except Comelec, says Drilon

MANILA, September 27, 2012-All agencies that belong to Constitutional and Fiscal Autonomy Group (CFAG) successfully sailed through Senate Committee on Finance budget hearing, except for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) whose budget is still yet to be approved.

The said Senate panel approved recently the 2013 proposed expenditures of three CFAG agencies: the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) which has an allocation of P1.72 billion under the proposed P2.006-trillion national budget; the Commission on Audit, P8.1 billion; and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) with P932.59 million, said its chairman Senator Franklin M. Drilon.

“The Ombudsman budget is 26.94 percent higher than its 2012 outlay of P1.35 billion, and a bulk of which, P1.39 billion, is for personal services to hire more lawyers to speed up disposition of cases,” said Drilon.

“There are currently 11,000 criminal and administrative cases pending before the Ombudsman requiring swift and determined action. Hence, to ensure speedy disposition of these cases now swamping the anti-graft agency, the Office has embarked on the recruitment of 100 qualified and competent lawyers to beef up its present staffing complement,” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales told Drilon during the hearing.

The COA budget, on the other hand, is 15.72 percent higher than its current allocation amounting P7.0 billion; whereas, the CSC budget is P160.9 million bigger from its 2012 budget of P771.68 million, explained Drilon.

The Comelec, meanwhile, failed to have its budget amounting P8.42 billion approved even after three hearings already conducted by the committee.

“I am hoping that in the fourth hearing of the Comelec budget, the inquiries and concerns of Senator Allan Peter Cayetano will finally be addressed by Chariman Sixto Brillantes Jr.,” Drilon said.   


Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this blog do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of "THE CATHOLIC MEDIA NETWORK NEWS ONLINE".

Should the Philippine government legalize same-sex marriage?