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‘Zombie voters’ evidence stolen in break-in 03/06/2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

PPCRV counsel’s office ransacked

‘Zombie voters’ evidence stolen in break-in


There appears to be a concerted effort from some groups to ensure that the Commission on Elections (Comelec)’s final but unpurged voters list that is filled with double, multiple and dead voters stays unpurged.

This was made evident after the law office of Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) counsel, Howard Calleja, was broken in Thursday in between 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday.
The only rooms that were “disturbed,” Calleja said, were the conference Room, the Evidence Room and Calleja’s personal office.
In a brief interview with Calleja yesterday, he told the Tribune that while doing a quick check, he realized that which was clearly missing and taken by the “thieves” was the list PPCRV had made of the double and multiple registrants, along with the dead voters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/headlines/20100306hed1.html

All out for media attention EDITORIAL 03/06/2010

All out for media attention

Click to enlarge

It was obviously the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that must have fed the US with claims of narco-politics being involved in the May 10 elections.

A published report last week quoted the US State Department’s 2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report showing that the illegal drugs trade in the country has evolved into a billion-dollar industry and that illicit narcotics money may be used to influence the May 10 elections.
The report also was quoted as saying that the PDEA has publicly expressed fears illicit narcotics money could influence the 2010 elections, and has pledged to pursue any evidence of such influence in order to carry out arrests..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

Guesswork and propaganda FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/06/2010

Guesswork and propaganda

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Where now go the earlier explanations of all those analysts who give their views on survey drops and rises of presidential candidates?

Much earlier, with Manny Villar, Nacionalista presidential bet ranking second, but closing in on Noynoy Aquino, Liberal Party standard bearer, so-called survey analysts and spokesmen of presidential candidates explained the surge and the drops of the two candidates, with the survey firm officials saying — depending on which candidate dropped or rose by way of their survey figures, that it was the many advertisements of Villar aired during the survey period that did it, while Noynoy had very little ads at the time, hence the increase.

Ads were again being mentioned when the next survey came, showing Villar in a statistical tie with Aquino, despite the baring of the C-5 controversy and a report that had Villlar censured for ethical misconduct. The same persons and analysts were quick to explain the rise of Villar, saying that the C-5 controversy, far from having a negative impact on his candidacy, had no impact at all. Naturally, the Aquino side claimed that the C-5 controversy, at the time of the conduct of the survey, was not as yet discussed fully in the Senate.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20100306com2.html

Tatad delivers his point BACKBENCHER Rod. P. Kapunan 03/06/2010

Tatad delivers his point

Rod. P. Kapunan

Former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad hit the point that poll surveys are not helping reinvigorate our already dysfunctional democratic system, but exacerbates the problem because they reduce our people to political zombies by voting on candidates fed to them as either “worthy choices” or “likely to win.”

They are subconsciously being deprived of their independent judgment to vote for leaders who can do better for this country.
Poll surveys such as the Social Weather Station (SWS), Pulse Asia, and others are indirectly destroying the cornerstone of our democracy by bombarding the public into believing their findings for voters to ultimately vote on one they indicated as likely to win... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

Community Health Worker in Negros Survives Slay Attempt March 1, 2010

Community Health Worker in Negros Survives Slay Attempt

Published on March 1, 2010


MANILA — A community health worker in Negros Occidental was wounded when fired upon by unidentified motorcycle-riding men in Barangay Manlacahoc, Sipalay City on Feb. 23. The attack on Ronaldo Capitania came on the heels of the arrest of the 43 health workers in Morong, Rizal, on Feb. 6.

Capitania, 24, single, who earns a living as a habal-habal (motorcycle) driver, was on his way to Barangay Cambugiot to fetch a regular passenger when he noticed two men wearing ski masks on a motorcycle tailing him, the Negros Island Health Integrated Program (NIHIP) said.

Capitania was able to flee but the men fired at him thrice, hitting him on his shoulders and abdomen. NIHIP said that despite the pain, Capitiana remembered the Basic Health Skills Training 1 given to him by volunteer nurses. He was able to minimize the bleeding by applying pressure on his wounds.

Capitania is now confined at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) in Bacolod City. According to NIHIP, his colleagues suspect that the military is behind the shooting because their organization was active in the campaign calling for the withdrawal of the military detachment inside the barangay hall.

Capitania was one of the 30 community health workers (CHW) who finished a one-year ladderized health training sponsored by the Council for Health and Development (CHD) and NIHIP last Nov. 22, 2009. Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor, one of the 43 health workers illegally detained at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal, was one of those who distributed diplomas for the graduates of the South CHW Association where Capitania served.
Capitania is also the Public Information Officer of Camindangan Small Farmers Association (CASFA), a partner organization of NIHIP in southern Negros.

Military intimidation

Analyn Pabiona, a volunteer nurse of NIHIP, said the military has been using the barangay hall in Manlacahoc as their detachment for quite some time already. Since then, the soldiers are seen everywhere brandishing long firearms.

“There was an instance when we were conducting a health training in the same barangay and the military just went inside bearing their long firearms. They took pictures. Some of our participants hurriedly went home because they were terrified of the presence of soldiers,” Pabiona said in a telephone interview with Bulatlat.
Fred Caña, secretary general of Karapatan-Negros, identified the military unit operating in Sipalay to be the 61st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

Caña said that since 2001, there have been 35 victims of extrajudicial killings in Negros island. Eleven were killed last year, most of whom are farmers.

“We will definitely do something about this, as of now we are still firming things up. We are condemning this harassment to community health workers. We are calling for the withdrawal of the military detachment here in our place,” Pabiona said. (Bulatlat.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Bulatlat.com)

Protests, Ka Parago Calls for Revolutionary Justice Published on March 5, 2010

Protests, Ka Parago Calls for Revolutionary Justice

Published on March 5, 2010

Press Release

Davao City — Eight Thousand farmers, lumad, urban poor, teachers, women and youth flocked from Freedom Park to Rizal Park today (March 5) to demand justice for the murder of Rebelyn Pitao and all victims of political killings.

Rebelyn, daughter of known NPA commander, Leoncio ‘Ka Parago’ Pitao, was abducted, raped and brutally murdered March 5 last year by suspected intelligence agents belonging to the 10th Infantry Division of the AFP.

The protest rally led by KARAPATAN, Hustisya and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-SMR) expressed outrage over the inutility of Task Force Rebelyn formed by the Davao City Police Office last year to investigate the gruesome murder.

“Like the more than one thousand cases of political killings in the country, justice remains elusive to the families of the victims because we strongly believe that the Arroyo administration and its military men thru the framework of its Oplan Bantay Laya are behind the killings,” said Kelly Delgado, Secretary General of KARAPATAN-SMR.

Delgado added, “The false charges, harassment and other crimes perpetrated against activists, their families and innocent civilians are even more rising and we see no hope with this government.”

The mother of Rebelyn, Evangeline Pitao expressed that her quest for justice for her daughter extends to all families of victims of human rights abuses.

She recalled some sleepless nights reminiscing the memories with her daughter whom she described as “meek, caring and compassionate daughter.”

Pitao now serves as the spokesperson of Hustisya in Southern Mindanao.

Pitao welcomed the recently approved Resolution of the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Davao City which recognized their plight and upheld the International Humanitarian Law–a law that respects the rights of noncombatants during armed conflict, including the families of known revolutionary leaders like Ka Parago.

“We commend the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Davao City for upholding the human rights thru this resolution, and respects the rights of the victims of human rights abuses. This is not only for my daughter but also for all freedom and human rights defenders,” said Evangeline.

A vigil for Rebelyn was also held yesterday night at Bankerohan. The event was attended by two thousand contingents where activist solons and Nacionalista-Makabayan senatoriable candidates Ka Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza both expressed condemnation and demand justice for Rebelyn’s murder.

Both Ocampo and Maza are authors of the Anti-Torture Law.

In a protest rally in Rizal Park, Rebelyn Pitao’s father, NPA commander Leoncio “Ka Parago Pitao, in a phone patch urged the military not to harm the civilians. He said “ dili hilabtan ang mga sibilyan, kung gusto nila naa ra mi diri sa bukid, dili lang nila hilabtan ang mga sibilyan”.

Ka Parago added “ Kinahanglan ihatag ang rebolusyunaryong hustisya sa tanang biktima”.
The phone patch was applauded by thousands of rallyists who were shouting “HUSTISYA alang sa tanang biktima! Hustisya kang Rebelyn Pitao.

Kelly Delgado, Secretary general KARAPATAN-SMR

On Mindoro’s Lubang Islands, a Clash Between Morals and Tourism

On Mindoro’s Lubang Islands, a Clash Between Morals and Tourism

Published on March 6, 2010


LUBANG, Occidental Mindoro — Village officials here have criticized the existence of a beach resort that might be condoning prostitution in a group of islands now being promoted as a paradise resort.

Reacting to a report made by a group of researchers, at least six village chairmen of this town agreed that offering a “short-time” product, especially to locals with girls and young women in tow, connotes prostitution. “Short-time” is a term used to connote a stay in a motel by two individuals.

Even the community of almost 70 percent Roman Catholics has expressed its rage when the women, mostly homemakers, forwarded a petition and confronted resort owners and hospitality girls in a dialog that Lubang’s mayor, Juan Sanchez, had called.

The petition called for the closure of beer houses and karaoke bars that allegedly offer the services of girls who are not residents of the Lubang islands.

Fr. Paulus Latuan, parish priest of Lubang, is saddened at what he called the collapse of some marital relations resulting from alleged illicit affairs encouraged these establishments.

Sanchez dismissed the emergence of the entertainment sector in the islands as an inevitable “part of the development process.”

“Naturally, these are like hotels and the short-time stay is but one of their offers,” he told the researchers.
Lubang and Looc towns share the Lubang Islands, a group of islands that include Lubang, Ambil, Cabra and Golo. White beaches surround the islands, which boast of clear waters and healthy marine, mangrove and forest eco-systems.

As the entertainment industry begins to encroach into the serene environment, peace and tranquility in the islands started to be disturbed, according to a woman official, citing a couple who resorted to separation as a solution to a marital conflict involving the visiting girls.

The women also raise the issue of health, but Sanchez said the town’s health office would monitor and check on it.

Some residents said these entertainers “come from Manila” and should be reshuffled often to avoid any further relationship besides “serving the men who go to the night joints to get drunk.”

Sanchez maintains that if the town was to develop its tourism industry, it should also be ready to receive the entertainment sector because “tourists would look for something to do at night time.”

The mayor reportedly advised local women to look after their husbands. “If no one patronizes the entertainment business, these would eventually close shop and pack up,” he said.

Lubang is currently in the process of mapping out its tourism plan. A private tourism planning consultancy firm Bluewater is doing a heritage mapping and a resource inventory of the islands to enable the local government to draw a sustainable pro-poor tourism program that would also consider the plight of the people and their resource base. (Bulatlat.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Bulatlat.com)

Peasant Leaders to Aquino Sisters: Insulting Farmers Won’t Help Noynoy’s Campaign

Peasant Leaders to Aquino Sisters: Insulting Farmers Won’t Help Noynoy’s Campaign

Published on March 6, 2010


MANILA — The Aquino sisters — Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz, Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada and Victoria Eliza “Viel” Aquino-Dee — were on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Wednesday to defend their brother, Liberal Party presidential candidagte Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III from the Hacienda Luisita issue.

In the report, the three Aquinos said “they also want out of the Hacienda Luisita.” Pinky was quoted saying that even when their mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, was still alive, “we really wanted out of that place except that nobody would buy our minority share.”

They admitted that the Hacienda Luisita issue is affecting their brother’s candidacy. They then went on to defend their family and how it handled the Hacienda Luisita issue. At one point, they said the farmers on the hacienda that have been demanding the distribution of the estate were “pretty spoiled.”

 Peasant leaders did not let the comments from the Aquino sisters pass. “If they think that insulting Luisita farmers can help Noynoy’s campaign, they are absolutely wrong. They are further isolating their brother Noynoy from the peasantry, agrarian reform advocates, and the Filipino people,” Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano said in a statement.

He added that “the feeling is mutual. Luisita farmers, in fact, are longing for the day that the Cojuangco-Aquino’s control of the hacienda comes to an end.”

Willy Marbella, deputy secretary-general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, told Bulatlat that Aquino seems to be using his sisters to shield him from the real issue, which is the absence of a genuine agrarian reform in Hacienda Luisita.

Mariano said that the fact that the farmers have been fighting for their land for half a century now only means that the Cojuangcos have no interest in letting go of the 6,000 hectare land.

In a statement, KMP secretary- general Danilo Ramos said that “we thought the Cojuangco-Aquino sisters are intelligent, but (their statement) shows that they are dumb when it comes to history.” He said farmers have working on the land even before they were born. “She (Pinky) does not even know how his grandfather acquired the lands using public funds,” Ramos added.

“It is really infuriating to hear stupid statements saying that the revocation of Stock Distribution Option was mainly due to a clash of the ruling cliques of Cojuangco-Aquino and Macapagal-Arroyo,” Ramos said. He said the revocation of the SDO was a fruit of the farm workers’ struggle. “The Aquinos should stop giving credit to their ally, the Arroyo administration, who is side-by-side with the Cojuangcos in attacking the farm workers’ strike that led to the massacre of farmers on Nov. 16, 2004,” Ramos said.

“I am wondering if Noynoy’s sisters are even reading or watching the news,” Ramos said. The SDO, he said, caused poverty for the Hacienda Luisita agri-workers and farmers, reduced the farmers’ take-home pay to P9.50, resulted in a cutdown in working hours as well as massive retrenchment.

Farm workers dubbed as stockholders is only pleasant to the ears, Willy Marbella of KMP told Bulatlat. “They are stockholders who were not even allowed to enter the office of Hacienda Luisita,” he said.
In a text message, United Luisita Workers Union chairman Lito Bais said in Filipino: “Yes, we are poor peasants but it does not mean that we are dumb not to understand the lies and deceptions that they are telling the public.”

Bais belied the statement of Cruz that farm workers were given free medical services. “It’s funny because they always boast the medical services. We have already said in the past that we pay for our own medical expenses.” In previous interviews, Bais and other workers said that although they were admitted to the Cojuangco hospital without deposits, whatever cost of the hospitalization were later deducted from their salaries.

Bais also said that they have long proved that the victims of the massacre in 2004 were workers of the Hacienda Luisita. “If the bullets were coming from the rallyists, there should have been at least one (member of the military) who were wounded or killed,” he said.

Since Aquino announced his intention to run for presidency, the clamor by the farm workers to land became even stronger, Ramos said. “It is misleading to say that Noynoy only owns 1/32 of the hacienda,” Ramos said. “The agri-workers and farmers are not asking him to resolve the issue as a stockholder but as a presidential wannabe who has said he could realize reforms in society,” he said.

Marbella suggested that the Aquino sisters should study the political economic situation of the country. “The Philippines is an agricultural country. It is rich in natural resources but the Filipinos remain poor because the riches of the country are concentrated in the hands of the few, ruling families like them.” (Bulatlat.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Bulatlat.com)

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