Arroyo Turns to Bishops and Businessmen in Anti-Corruption Fight

MANILA, Philippines, JULY 7, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has asked her government to work closely with the Bishops and Businessmen’s Conference to craft anti-corruption programs that incorporate the group’s proposals.

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The conference’s anti-corruption programs will be headed by specialized prosecutors and investigators.

Addressing the conference’s general assembly in Pasay City on Monday, Arroyo welcomed the efforts of the Catholic bishops and the business community to help her in the struggle against corruption in the bureaucracy.

Philippine media, such as the Manila Bulletin, echoed her sentiments, pointing out that businessmen and the Church regard corruption as the main cause of the country’s poverty. More than half of its 84 million inhabitants live on $2 a day.

“I will work with diligence over the next six years to combat corruption,” Arroyo promised. She invited the Bishops and Businessmen’s Conference to re-establish the observatories it established some time ago to control the effective implementation of commercial and business projects and to verify the existence of eventual frauds.

In her inaugural address last Wednesday, Arroyo promised to pursue corrupt public officials, influence peddlers and tax cheats.

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ZENIT Staff

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