MANILA, Philippines– President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday graced a four-day conference of the 5th Global Organizations of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
The conference, attended by different heads of parliaments, opened Wednesday and will end on Saturday, February 2.
Aquino was the keynote speaker at Thursday’s conference while Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte delivered their respective speeches to welcome the participants and guests.
In his speech, Enrile, who has been at the center of Senate funds controversy, emphasized the need to address the problem of corruption as it affects, he said, the quality of public service.
“I think our gathering here is held at an auspicious time, to deal with a problem that affected and still affects not only political communities in the past but most important political communities of our time,” he said.
This problem has been with us since the beginning of humankind, a part of human nature, and it grows as a problem and a bane to every human society that wishes to progress, to serve the people, and to maintain the standard and level of rectitude, of public service, especially.
“And this problem has been with us since the beginning of human kind I guess–a part of human nature and it grows as a problem and a bane to every human society that wishes to progress, to serve our people and to maintain a standard and level of rectitude of public service,” he said.
Enrile hopes that given the wide and diverse experience in public service of the participants, they would be able to address and contribute to the solution or “at least reduction of this problem…”
“I hope that in the course of your convention, and in discussing the common problem that we have, based on your diverse experiences and knowledge of the problem, you can come up with a suitable, mutually agreeable, common ground to address this problem which affects all of us,” said the Senate leader.
“It’s really something that we must address because it goes to the very essence of governance. It affects not only the quality of service, the confidence of the people but most of all their well-being because corruption has a cost to the well-being and lives of people…” Enrile added.
Vice President Jejomar Binay and other ranking government officials also attended the gathering.