Anti-corruption fight is not hopeless, nuncio says

Manila (AsiaNews) – The anti-corruption fight in the Philippines is "not hopeless", this according to Mgr Antonio Franco, papal nuncio in Manila, who is "optimistic" about President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's chances in solving the problem. Corruption, he said during a press conference at the residence of bishop of Marbel, "is one of the reasons social problems persist in the country".

Straining under a major fiscal crisis and a heavy foreign and domestic debt, the Philippines have recently seen the unfolding of a money-laundering scandal US involving General Carlos Garcia and other officers.

"There are corrupt people in the government," the nuncio said, "but there are others who are working for the common good of Filipinos". He is convinced that the President can pursue ways to fight corruption. In fact, Ms Arroyo has already convened a court martial to deal with General Garcia who is accused of moving millions of US dollars to the United States.

Mgr Franco went on to say that corruption is an evil in other countries as well, but is more visible in economically weak places like the Philippines.

Corruption, the nuncio pointed out, leads to fewer social programmes for the poor. Conscious of this fact, the Church has been calling for good governance to fight corruption as a way to improve the country's situation. (SE)