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PMP: It’s an Erap vs Noynoy fight for presidency 04/26/2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

PMP: It’s an Erap vs Noynoy fight for presidency


04/26/2010

Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) yesterday predicted a “close race” between its standard bearer and Liberal Party bet Sen. Noynoy Aquino, and described Estrada’s chances “as sure as (Sen. Manuel “Manny”) Villar’s date with the cellar.”

“It is Erap vs Noynoy on May 10. Villar can just watch from the sidelines,” PMP spokesman lawyer Rafael Calinisan said in a statement.
Resolute in the PMP’s claim that Estrada will win, he added that “this is the part where Erap knocks out his opponent. A major Eraption is forthcoming.”
Various surveys show that Estrada has kicked up in the ratings and has already overtaken Nacionalista Party presidential candidate, Manny Villar, who appears to have dramatically dropped in survey numbers.
“The truth of the strength of President Erap lies, not even in survey numbers, but in the sheer number of people who attend his rallies,” said the camp of Estrada..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100426hed2.html


Elite groups press Comelec on manual count 04/26/2010

Warn of protest actions vs poll body

Elite groups press Comelec on manual count


04/26/2010

Insisting that a parallel and manual count at the precinct level would bring about credible elections, an elite group of businessmen, who are mostly identified with the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), yesterday called a press conference at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City, putting additional pressure on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to allow a parallel count of the ballots in the precinct level.

The press conference was carried live on the Lopez cable network yesterday morning.

There were hints from some members of the group that, apart from coming up with an open letter to the Comelec, massive protest actions will be employed.

Earlier, there was staged in front of the Comelec, the so-called “Jericho” march, which harks back to the biblical Jericho walls that crumbled.

The business groups warned of massive protests to be staged but failed to state whether these would be staged before the polls, or after the polls.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100426hed1.html



Discriminated spoon-eating Pinoy pupil wins suit 04/26/2010

Discriminated spoon-eating Pinoy pupil wins suit


04/26/2010

The Filipino boy who was discriminated and humiliated in school for his eating habits was awarded $17,000 by a Canadian court for damages.

The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal reversed its earlier decision and ruled in favor of 11-year-old Luc Caganoc and awarded him damages for the discriminatory act committed against him by a lunch supervisor four years ago.
Cagadoc, who was then a seven-year-old second grade pupil at the Roxboro school in Montreal, Canada, has been isolated from other students several times during lunchtime and was made to eat alone for using a spoon and fork. Eating with a spoon and fork is a customary Filipino manner.

The Cagadoc family complained against the school board after the school’s lunch supervisor reprimanded the boy and told him that he eats like a pig. The incident sparked condemnation by Filipinos abroad.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100426nat5.html

Safe conduct pass EDITORIAL 04/26/2010

Safe conduct pass



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
04/26/2010

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which was cornered to near extinction during the term of former President Joseph Estrada, seems to be able to pull all the necessary strings — and all throughout the close to 10-year administration of Gloria Arroyo.

It was able to wangle the other day an agreement with the government which shows to the world more than anything that this armed rebel group has muscles that the government readily recognizes and thus fortifies its world stature.

The agreement, which was sealed in Kuala Lumpur, mandated the MILF “to secure” election officers, personnel and even the Comelec deputies in the military and police forces accompanying poll officers.

That really is quite a feat the MILF pulled off: An enemy of the state, an armed Islamic secessionist group being tapped by the Arroyo government to protect the polls, the ballots, and the voters, apart of course from protecting the legitimate Armed Forces — the MILF’s enemy!... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune


URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100426com1.html


A clear waste of P11.3 billion taxpayers’ money FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 04/26/2010

A clear waste of P11.3 billion taxpayers’ money



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
04/26/2010
The irony of it all is that too many Filipinos, in power and out, were all gung-ho about holding nationwide automated polls, even when early enough, there were already danger signs that automated elections would create more problems for the nation.

The law was clear enough: prior to holding nationwide automated polls, a pilot testing of automated polls should be conducted in two areas each in two cities, municipalities and provinces.
But the Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials insisted that the law has been substantially enforced, as the automated elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) fulfilled that provision of the law.

The Supreme Court bought that Comelec ARMM polls argument, and even upheld the Comelec’s position that a foreign supplier, Smartmatic, would in essence be in full control of the conduct of elections.

Comelec was entrusted with the biggest poll budget ever — P11.3 billion, plus plus, as there was still additional funding for the AFIS, the fingerprinting system to weed out ghost voters. The voters’ list was never purged as it should have been purged.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100426com2.html


Thailand in urgent need of resolution to avoid bloodbath ANALYSIS 04/26/2010

Thailand in urgent need of resolution to avoid bloodbath



ANALYSIS

04/26/2010
BANGKOK — Thailand must find a political consensus acceptable to all its warring factions to avoid a repeat of the bloodshed that has so often traumatized the “Land of Smiles,” analysts say.

The need to avoid further violence has become paramount in the wake of grenade attacks in Bangkok Thursday that left one dead and after April 10 clashes that killed 25 in scenes of anarchy in the capital’s historic district.
Since the anti-government “Red Shirts” began their street rallies in mid-March, the mood between protesters and the security forces has flip-flopped with terrifying speed from jokes and handshakes to fear and hostility.
“In terms of the carnival atmosphere turning into violence, this comes from very deep in Thai society,” said Michael Montesano, a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100426com3.html

Hunger, PCOS and revolution DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 04/26/2010

Hunger, PCOS and revolution



DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
04/26/2010
Over family dinner at an Italian restaurant in Tagaytay, one of our twins, Andrei, recounted his little tragic-comedy. At a hamburger joint where he asked to be picked up recently, he saw his burger gone in a jiffy after he left it at his table to approach the counter for something. Apparently, a small street urchin slipped past security and snagged his burger like a gust of wind. The guard couldn’t move fast enough while Andrei didn’t think the poor tyke, who quickly disappeared into a corner, was worth running after either.

Just a week earlier, an opinion survey on poverty and hunger produced an enigma. SWS’ latest poll showed self-rated poverty down while hunger incidence remaining at relatively historic highs. Given these two contradictory findings, even those who conducted the survey had to explain to themselves how these came about. And just as I thought, they surmised that the Filipino poor have so adjusted to the new lows in their food sufficiency, or lack thereof, that being without food for a day or two within a month no longer felt like “being poor.” But, as Andrei’s story reflects, hungry kids, who are never interviewed by the pollsters, know better: The insistent, gnawing pains of hunger are enough to even overcome the fear of the consequences of stealing.

The only candidate in the presidential race stressing time and again the issue of food security, particularly support for agricultural production, is President Joseph Estrada. His frequent mantra, “A hungry stomach knows no law,” is a testament to this. In contrast, the Yellow dummy Aquinorroyo, who repeatedly mouths his “I will not steal” line and his promise of personal honesty (which appeal to the hopelessly naïve but made absolutely doubtful by his behest BSA security contracts and complicity in the Luisita real estate swindle), merely skirts the really critical socio-economic issues and avoids addressing them. Villarroyo, meanwhile, while promising to “end hardship” (kahirapan), will never dare admit that ending poverty is something neither Christ nor Mao Zedong could ever promise their people.

Understanding that hunger is the main issue is to understand the real crisis of those who have lost their voice in society — the poorest and the most vulnerable of the poor, the children who constitute this nation’s future brain and brawn. By the hunger they face today, our next generation will be weak not only in body but also in mind. Thus, instead of being a boon, they will only be a burden to the nation.

Unfortunately, not too many of our so-called young and upcoming leaders appreciate the essential gravity of this problem. Take Chiz Escudero, who is said to be supporting a “Noy-Bi” ticket. In an obvious dig at Mar Roxas, he explains that he doesn’t want someone who is “rich and ilustrado;” as if his chosen bet isn’t “rich and ilustrado” to begin with, and of a cacique and hacendero upbringing to boot. Evidently, Escudero’s shallow gibberish shows that he just doesn’t get it and is only playing trapo politics.

Today, one in four Filipino families experiences a day or more of involuntary hunger every month, making a food security believer desperately needed — someone like President Joseph Estrada. In two weeks’ time, we should know who’s taking charge, or will we?

With ghost precincts still being discovered; with a PCOS (that has malfunctioned 10 percent of the time in Hong Kong) stripped of its automatic ballot ID scanner and manual UV light inspection (the human factor that Comelec even mocked to justify full automation), which cannot even read slight imperfections in filled-up circles (as the scanner cannot decipher UV marks that are just micro-millimeters off), which is moreover stripped of its vote confirmation screen and button; and with up to 40 percent of unused ballots being utilized by the usual vote cheats (bolstered by the absence of any paper trail), will we ever know who really won?

Why are we putting up with this PCOS and Comelec lemon? When some Toyota cars were found defective, its company recalled millions of units for fixing. Laptops we buy come with a guarantee that the unit is automatically replaced once any defect is found within a month.

Comelec’s automation rubbish has had so many defects and change of specifications that it is no longer recognizable from the original proposed model and system. Why then are we being forced to adapt to the winning bidder’s changes and not the other way around? Why is an entire nation hostaged by the Comelec and Smartmatic’s appalling incompetence?

Comelec has promised to proclaim the presidential winner within 24 hours or so, regardless of any controversy that arises. But this hostages the entire country again to its proclamation whim. But then, this will also bring us closer to revolution.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV, Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on “PCOS and AES: Final Evaluation” with Mano Alcuaz and Obet Versola; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)


(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100426com4.html

Navigating India’s language divides FEATURE 04/26/2010

Navigating India’s language divides



FEATURE

04/26/2010

NEW DELHI — When advocate Govinder Singh rose to make an argument in the Delhi High Court this month, he did what no lawyer had ever done before him and addressed the judge in Hindi.

Singh’s action was generally applauded for striking an overdue blow against a decades-old rule that insists on English — the enduring legacy of British colonial rule — as the working language of the Indian capital’s top judicial bench.

A similar linguistic challenge was thrown down last November by Abu Azmi, a newly-elected legislator in the Maharashtra state assembly, when he opted to take his oath of office in Hindi, rather than the state language of Marathi.

Azmi’s reward was to be slapped and roughed up on the floor of the assembly by four state MPs from a right-wing party that campaigns aggressively for the rights of the state’s Marathi-speaking majority.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100426com5.html


Incidents in a saga HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 04/26/2010

Incidents in a saga



HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
04/26/2010

\"They speared both of her eyes, shot both her breasts, cut off her feet, fired into her mouth.”
It would break me to describe this, but seeing Esmael Mangundadatu describe the fate suffered by his own wife at the hands of his own relatives, along with more than a hundred members of their own private army, which not a few say are in abundance in war-torn Mindanao, especially in Maguindanao, made me believe how politics would transcend even familial love as Mangundadatu would then reiterate his intention to challenge his wife’s killers in the May 10 elections, which was still half-a-year far when the Ampatuan massacre happened.

It took less than a minute for Mangundadatu to shed tears for his wife. Then he began to spend his new life in viduity campaigning to become governor of Maguindanao, an easy task now, especially with Andal Ampatuan, namesake and bet of incumbent Gov. Andal Ampatuan behind bars as main suspect in the killing of his wife, along with 57 others, including 32 journalists.

The journalists were killed as they accompanied Mangundadatu’s wife, two sisters, lawyers, aides, and motorists in filing Mangundadatu’s certificate of candidacy. They never reached the Comelec office after they were intercepted by Ampatuan’s private army and were mercilessly killed and dumped in a common grave dug two days using a backhoe owned by the provincial government.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100426com6.html


Ampatuan revisited SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 04/26/2010

Ampatuan revisited



SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
04/26/2010

What happened on Nov. 23, 2009 remains fresh in many Filipinos’ minds. On that dark day in history, we saw just how bloody, ruthless and senseless politics can be. It forced us to look where we had long turned our faces, putting into the glaring spotlight the incidence of violence in many parts of our country — stark against our widely known cultural trait of general placidness.

It happened in a little-known town in Mindanao. More than 50 unarmed civilians — “many of them women, 32 of them journalists” — were massacred by a group of armed men in broad daylight. It happened along an “off-road hillside in Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province,” according to the GMA-7 timeline news report.

Maguindanao, before the gory event in November, had already made it to the news because of some election controversies. It had been alleged that massive cheating had gone on in this province, but frankly, not many Filipinos cared to look deeper because Mindanao, as a whole, was already a sensitive subject.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100426com7.html


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