Thursday, October 25, 2012
QUEBEC, Canada, October 25, 2012-Various Philippine Senators underscored the importance of anti-corruption and good governance initiatives in achieving developmental objectives at the ongoing 127th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) here in Quebec, Canada.
The legislators, who are all members of the Philippine Delegation, relayed this message before various delegations and bilateral meetings, highlighting the importance of government reforms particularly in terms of transparency and accountability.
During the meeting with all member countries of the ASEAN and the larger Asia Pacific Group (APG), Senator Edgardo J. Angara explained the nexus between development and corruption and highlighted the importance of regional cooperation in terms of curbing corrupt practices in Asia.
“In 2025, Asia will become the center of global production. But in order to reap the gains of that demographic window, we ought to work together in cleaning our governments and in preparing our institutions for such progress,” said Angara, Chairperson of the Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC).
Angara likewise met separately with the leaders from Myanmar and Germany to encourage them to lead anti-corruption work in Asia and Europe, respectively.
Speaking in front of a delegation of 22 Latin American and Carribean countries, Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. then explained the importance of fighting corruption to developed and developing countries alike.
“This is a problem shared by countries—developed or developing. And we must work together as parliamentarians to address this issue in our respective regions,” encouraged the Senator.
Later, Senator Teofisto Guingona echoed the same message to the 14 countries from the Middle East in attendance. Guingona was positively received by the group and gained support from members of the different delegations for the anti-corruption advocacy.
Angara, Marcos and Guingona joined Senator Franklin Drilon, Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 127th IPU Assembly representing the Senate of the Philippines. During the meetings, the Philippine Delegation actively encouraged fellow parliamentarians in attendance to come to Manila for the 5th Global Conference on Anti-Corruption in January 2013.
With the theme "Good laws. Good leaders. Good Citizens," the Conference, hosted by the Senate of the Philippines, the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), and the Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC), is expected to draw 500 parliamentarians all over the world to Manila.
The group also met with Mr. John Williams, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the GOPAC, himself a former IPU Delegate as Senator of Canada, to discuss preparations for the upcoming Manila Conference, as well as how to further the role of the Philippine legislators in anti-corruption work in the region. (Rikka Sotto)
MANILA, October 25, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda today urged all Filipinos to share in the celebration of Eidul Adha or the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice.
“Tomorrow (Oct. 26), the whole Filipino nation will join our Muslim brethren in commemorating the Eidul Adha, by virtue of Republic Act 9849. As we observe this special Muslim occasion, we must also understand its significance to the Islamic Faith so that we can create a better understanding with our Muslim brothers and sisters,” said Legarda.
“I have always hoped that in a Catholic-dominated nation such as ours, we can go beyond familiarity of Muslim religious holidays and move towards deeper respect and understanding among us Filipinos regardless of faith or religious belief,” she stressed.
The Eidul Adha signifies the end of the Islamic Pilgrimage to Mecca wherein Muslims pay homage to the Prophet Ibrahim’s supreme act of sacrifice. Ibrahim’s love and obedience to Allah was put to a test when he was asked to offer his beloved son, Ishmael. Ibrahim willingly surrendered to the perceived commandment and Allah was pleased. When Ibrahim was about to sacrifice Ishmael, a voice from heaven stopped him and allowed him to sacrifice a ram instead.
“This story is the same with that of the Christian story about Abraham and his willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to God. Now that the whole nation will be commemorating Eidul Adha, we begin to create interfaith harmony among Filipinos. Greater awareness of each other’s celebrations and traditions will help bring to the fore the significance of healthy and constructive discussions among faiths in the Philippines,” Legarda said.
“I wish to reiterate my full support for government efforts to further strengthen Christian-Muslim unity. Interfaith dialogue is crucial to attaining lasting peace and harmony in Philippine society in the years ahead,” she added.
Legarda is the author of R.A. 9849 which declared the tenth day of the month of Zhul Hijja as a national holiday to commemorate the Eidul Adha.
Last month, Legarda filed a bill declaring the first week of February as “World Interfaith Harmony Week” in the Philippines, which aims to build genuine understanding among people of different faiths and belief systems.
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