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UN: ‘Trillion dollars lost annually to bribes, corruption’

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Amidst the strong campaign of various leaders in the world, the United Nations reported that every year trillions of dollars are lost to bribes or stolen through corruption worldwide which comprise around more than five percent of global gross domestic production.
The UN made this report in celebration of International Anti-Corruption Day which is the 15th year of the landmark United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

The lost money according to UN can be utilized for the urgently needed in healthcare, education, clean water, infrastructure and other essential services of a country. With the estimated $2.6 trillion, so many things can be done for the welfare of the people, UN added.

They explained further the effect of corruption to the society has various adverse effects. “It undermines democracy and rule of law, erodes quality of life, slows economic development, and enables organized crime and terrorism.”

In the 15 years since its adoption, the Convention Against Corruption has achieved near-universal status, with 186 signatory states. The Philippines joined the convention in November 2006. The Convention is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. It covers preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement.

Also included are bribery, influence peddling, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector. A highlight of the Convention is the inclusion of a specific chapter on asset recovery, aimed at returning stolen assets to their rightful owners, including countries from which they had been taken illegally.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized the vital role of the Convention as one of the primary tools for advancing the fight against corruption.

“Through the Convention’s peer review mechanism, we can work together to build a foundation of trust and accountability. We can educate and empower citizens, promote transparency and strengthen international cooperation to recover stolen assets,” the UN official said.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,  Yury Fedotov executive director said the international community has recognized that combatting corruption is essential to preventing and addressing root causes of conflict and violent extremism, building peace and protecting human rights.

“Governments understand that anti-corruption is critical to countering organized crime, including human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as trafficking of drugs, weapons and natural resources,” Fedotov said.

“Thanks to the Convention, nearly every country in the world now has laws in place making corruption a crime,” he said.

THEPHILBIZNEWS tried to get the reaction of  Sen. Panfilo Lacson in a text message sent, however, as of this posting no reaction yet from the Senator. Lacson is a strong critic against pork barrel which has been the cause of corruption in the Philippines.

Last week, the Senator disclosed the pork barrel insertions in the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 of the national expenditure bill in the House of Representatives in which House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Pampanga district stood to get P2.4 billion worth of projects and P1.9 billion went to House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.’s Camarines Sur district.

One of the campaign programs of President Rogrido Duterte during his campaign against corruption. But critics said that they find in ironic that amidst the drum beaten campaign of the President against corruption, several people convicted for corruption were exonerated.

Also President Duterte’s friends whom he vouched to have high integrity former immigration deputy commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles were charged with plunder  involving the P50-million scandal where gaming tycoon Jack Lam used Sombero as a middleman to allegedly bribe immigration officers to free nearly half of the 1,300 illegal Chinese workers who were arrested in Lam’s Pampanga casino.

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