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SC orders Comelec: Disclose auto polls preparation details By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 05/07/2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

Citing alarming developments

SC orders Comelec: Disclose auto polls preparation details

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales

The Supreme Court (SC), alarmed at the developments that were marked by automated machine glitches, and the error-prone flash cards changes, yesterday ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disclose details of its preparations for the polls on Monday, for the country’s first automated elections.

Citing “alarming developments” the SC voting 12 to 3, ruled to partially grant a taxpayer suit by a group led by former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr.

In its 20-page resolution by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, the SC upheld the right of petitioners to information on the poll automation, which it said is “a matter of great public concern.”

Eleven other magistrates, including outgoing Chief Justice Reynato Puno, concurred in the ruling. Three others — Senior Associate Justice Renato 

Corona and Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Roberto Abad — dissented.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100507hed1.html

Erap set to ask high court to postpone polls By Gerry Baldo 05/07/2010

Erap set to ask high court to postpone polls

By Gerry Baldo

Former President Estrada, standard bearer of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), is set to ask the Supreme Court (SC) to prevent the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from holding the election on May 10 next week and for the poll body to prepare for a manual counting of votes as a fallback position in the event the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines fail.
Estrada, at a press conference at the Club Filipino yesterday, said there should be provisions for a manual counting of votes to ensure that there would be no failure of election.
Estrada was with PMP senatorial candidates including Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Plaza; former Negros Occidental Rep. Apolinario “Jun’ Lozada; former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad; businessman Joey de Venecia; reelectionist Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile; and former Sanlakas Rep. JV Bautista.
Local candidates of the PMP were also present during the press conference including, Ilocos Sur gubernatorial bet Rambo Rafanan, Quezon City mayoralty bet Annie Rose Susano, Makati mayoralty bet Junjun Binay, and Pasay City mayoralty bet Connie Dy.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100507hed2.html

SWS releases BW survey results to Noynoy 05/07/2010

SWS releases BW survey results to Noynoy

Is a known pollster rushing a last minute mind conditioning for a bandwagon status on the candidacy of Liberal Party presidential bet, Sen. Noynoy Aquino?

What should have been commissioned items by BusinessWorld under a Social Weather Stations (SWS) partnership in 2010 pre-election surveys, with BW getting the exclusive first print right, appeared to have been breached, with the latest two day SWS survey results leaked out to Aquino, and posted by his sister, Kris Aquino-Yap, in her official Twitter account, and with all the media coming out with the results even before BusinessWorld is given the opportunity to do so.

The survey, said to have been conducted from May 2 to 3, with a respondents base of some 2,400 nationwide, showed Aquino obtaining 42 percent, or a 4 percentage point increase from the May 16 to 19 SWS survey.

Former President Joseph Estrada dislodged Nacionalista Party standard bearer Sen. Manuel Villar, to land in second place, with Estrada obtaining a 3 percentage point increase, measured at 20 percent from a previous 17 percent. Other surveys have shown Estrada to have more than the score SWS normally gives him, even when the surveys are conducted at about the same time.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100507hed3.html

AFP says Reds out to push failure of polls By Mario J. Mallari 05/07/2010

AFP says Reds out to push failure of polls

By Mario J. Mallari

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday said the “extreme Left” or the communist group are the ones pushing for a failure of elections, allegedly by the intensification of its armed wing’s harassment of local candidates and by sabotaging the poll preparations, to further their cause to seize power from the government.

Only yesterday morning, New People’s Army (NPA) rebels bombed a convoy of vehicles traveling through a town in in Masbate province while carrying precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines which were to be delivered in polling precincts where they will be used in the first-ever automated national elections in the country on Monday.

Members of the Army’s 85th Infantry Battalion (IB), led by Major Esteveyn Ducusin and Major Michael Licyayo, were escorting representatives of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) at around 10:35 a.m. when a roadside bomb exploded along Sitio Busay, Barangay Pawikan in Palanas town. An Army truck was damaged in the attack, but the Army escorts were unharmed and their cargo was intact, the military said.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

  URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100507nat1.html

Works of evils EDITORIAL 05/07/2010

Works of evils

Click to enlarge
A string of disturbing events has occurred the last few days that points to what every Filipino earlier believed in the back of his mind will not happen on Monday, the national elections.

Yesterday, Gloria convened the Cabinet to take up the no elections scenario supposedly as a consequence of glitches in the memory cards of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

At the meeting, police and military officials were asked by Gloria to study the possibility of the elections not being held and the contingency measures for such an event.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100507com1.html

Noynoy can’t hack it FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/07/2010

Noynoy can’t hack it

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
He wants the presidency, but has virtually admitted that he cannot hack it.

Stated differently, he wants to be president of the republic, but does not want to accept responsibility and accountability because he knows he is incapable of handling government.
Noynoy Aquino, Liberal Party standard bearer, at a press conference last Wednesday said he will be sharing 80 percent of presidential powers with his running mate, Mar Roxas.
Noynoy was quoted as saying in a broadsheet that “I am sharing 50 percent to 80 percent of the job (of the presidency) with my one and only partner Mar Roxas, and I am offering him not just one, but several portfolios in an oversight capacity.”
Then he added: “But let me make it clear that Senator Mar has not asked for any portfolio and this is also not a request. I call this a division of labor, which we have agreed on from the start.”
The tasks of the presidency are never a division of labor. Nor can the presidency’s functions and duties be shared with any other official — including his vice president.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100507com2.html

For proud Pakistani-US community, an embarrassment focus 05/07/2010

For proud Pakistani-US community, an embarrassment



SILVER SPRING — Across from a counter serving up heaping plates of kabobs and curries, Zahid Hussain scrolled through his phone for messages from fellow Pakistani-Americans. The topic was hardly a surprise.

“Pakistanis are afraid. When they see on television, ‘Pakistani terrorist in Times Square,’ they just want to hide their face,” Hussain said at a brightly lit Pakistani restaurant in suburban Washington.

Hussain, who publishes a local Urdu-language newspaper, said he spoke with his school-age children after hearing that a Pakistani-American, Faisal Shahzad, was arrested in Saturday’s plot to sow destruction in one of New York’s busiest intersections.

Hussain immigrated to the United States in 2003 and said his children had once even asked if they could change their names due to the image of their homeland in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

  URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100507com3.html

The swellheads NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 05/07/2010

The swellheads

Armida Siguion-Reyna

And they are many, littering the political landscape, strutting as if sure winners, treating us like dirt. Fortunately, karma in this digital age moves just as fast. We take note of the affected, the weekend before the elections.

Initially hit, and oh, so clearly, is Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer, Sen. Manuel Villar. Early on ranked number one in the surveys — if you believe in surveys, which is altogether another issue — look at him now. Oh, what a fall.

As op-ed columnists, coffee shop wags and pundits outrace each other analyzing what went wrong with the Villar campaign, those in his payroll — and believe you me, they are legion — are bravely keeping up a brave front. But how to stay upbeat in the face of numbers that have slipped from first to third in the race is a problem. A very big problem.

Methinks the tumble began when Villar snubbed the Senate committee of the whole’s investigation into the C-5 transaction, in 2009. He never bothered to honor his peers with his presence, at one time sent word that he was in some far away place but was only actually at the Sofitel; five minutes later and soon after the session had been adjourned he turned up to meet the media in an “impromptu” press conference to “defend” himself — that’s when he fell down the wall and all the wannabe president’s men couldn’t put Humpty-Dumpty together again.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100507com4.html

Struggle reaps triumphs DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/07/2010

Struggle reaps triumphs

Herman Tiu Laurel
As I projected since the mid-march Magdalo survey, which showed Estrada statistically tied to Aquinorroyo in the National Capital Region (NCR) (with 33 percent to 35.6 percent), leaving Villarroyo behind, Erap would be in dead heat in the race for Number One by election week. Metro Manila sets the tone for the rest of the country and it’s only a matter of time that the NCR shift to Estrada would reach the North and South. The latest in-house survey of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), which has been closely paralleled by the results of the Magdalo, Manila Standard Today, Stratpol and DILG surveys, but with a larger base of 2,400 respondents, shows Estrada at 29 percent versus Aquinorroyo’s 34 percent. The startling fact is that even the Liberal Party (LP) in-house survey, which is already making the rounds, shows Aquinorroyo only 5.8 percent ahead of Estrada five days before the elections.

Today, I brought a bottle of red wine to the PMP HQ to celebrate the good tidings. The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) announcement did not faze me because it was victory either way. My debate with Yellow stalwart Mano Alcuaz centered on his point that the INC is simply opportunistic and would go for his candidate. With the INC confirming his argument, I gladly lost because my secularist view won in the confirmation of the true nature of the INC leadership. I discussed this with my radio listeners and told them: “Just like the El Shaddai masses of which 70 percent voted for Erap in their mock elections despite Velarde’s bias for Villar, the INC masses are not blind. Many will quietly vote for their champion. We must talk to the INC masses as separate from their leaders.”

Leaders of these religious sects may have a lot in their mind, so it has been stated by political analysts: Personal ambitions, bureaucratic interests and pecuniary matters. Take the Gloria Arroyo faction in the El Shaddai. The 2004 elections had been very profitable for some of the sect’s leaders such as the one appointed chief of the elevated transit corporation. Although these people tried to maneuver things in favor of their chosen bets, the masses still backed the leader they recognized as pro-masa.

Thus, in the wake of the INC announcement, with PMP supporters exchanging texts, this sentiment sums it up perfectly: “In 2004, the INC endorsed Gloria Arroyo against FPJ but the latter still won the vote — tough he was cheated.” Of course, Danding Cojuangco was also INC-backed in 1992 and Miriam won the vote, as FVR won the cheating.

Another triumph is the collapse of the credibility of the Comelec’s Automated Election System (AES). Comelec law chief lawyer Ferdinand Rafanan used to arrogantly boast of 100 percent success and mocked critics as idle ne’er-do-wells. Ditto for Chairman Jose Melo. Despite universal praises for them, I had to state the truth: That they’re all in on the hoax from the very start. The AES is already a failure today as are the elections because they no longer have the minimum of credibility any election requires. The Comelec will, of course, go through the motions, counting and proclaiming and declaring it successful — leaving protests raging and a nation P11 billion poorer and without any election system to speak of.

Let’s not forget the congressmen and senators who rallied behind poll automation, particularly Teddy “Boy” Locsin whom everyone expected to be bright enough to see through the AES farce. In one episode of Carambola, Rep. Boying Remulla practically chastised Locsin for the AES screwing up even the local elections. And just as bad is the “manual count” call of the Yellow election manipulators Namfrel, Makati Business Club, Gus Lagman and company, who will only be trending the elections in favor of their mascot. I don’t see any way to save the AES and the elections. This country really needs to sort out this mess; maybe the junta’s time — of reformist civilians and military — has come to restart the process for honest, credible elections.

(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.; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100507com5.html

The disgraced Nacionalista Party By Ronald Roy COMMENT 05/07/2010

The disgraced Nacionalista Party

By Ronald Roy


The Nacionalista Party (NP) is a disgraced political party because its titular head Manny Villar is its disgraced official candidate for the presidency. Villar aspires for the highest office with a dubious rags-to-riches story that he claims to have taught him the ropes in licking chronic poverty.

We can give him the benefit of the doubt here, but certainly not with respect to how he has enriched himself by having allegedly used the influence of his office — first as Speaker of the House of Representatives then as Senate President. And we’re speaking of billions of pesos here, and of documentary evidence not bare speculation. No man can claim any moral ascendancy whose self-respect is suspect. On a question of a conceivable lack of integrity alone, Villar should not be taken seriously — not for the highest office of the land anyway.

My father Jose Roy was the NP president for 10 years until he passed away in 1986. He brought dignity to this position in the glorious tradition of his predecessors like Jose P. Laurel and Sergio Osmeña. Gone are their days of statesmanship, delicadeza and altruism. Right after he won a congressional seat in the first district of Tarlac after the war, he gave the restive farmers of Nueva Ecija his only agricultural title covering 971 hectares of rice land.

He then proceded to author and sponsor the first post-Commonwealth agrarian reform law, the 70-30 (farmer-hacendero) crop-sharing tenancy act. Thereafter he ventured into the lawmaking field of banks and corporations, ways and means and economic affairs to establish probably the greatest legislative output in history. In close to 30 years in both houses, he never lost an election and was annually chosen as one of 10 most outstanding representatives or six most outstanding senators. That’s why he became NP president, Senate Majority Floor Leader and Senate President Pro-Tempore.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

  URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100507com6.html

Tribal anger rises in Bangladesh’s volatile hills FEATURE 05/07/2010

Tribal anger rises in Bangladesh’s volatile hills


BAGHAICHHARI — Bangladesh’s southeastern hills are again simmering with ethnic tension, raising concerns that a fragile peace reached 13 years ago will collapse.

Hundreds of ethnic Chakma, a Buddhist tribal group indigenous to the Chittagong Hill Tracts, lost their homes in February when violence broke out between them and Muslim Bengali settlers, prompting a harsh army crackdown.
“With the assistance of the army, the settlers came here to attack us,” said Joshna Chakma, who lost her house and says her village has been plagued by violence since Bengali settlers and an army post arrived around two years ago.
“Last year, there were 78 houses burned down by the settlers, helped by the army,” said Joshna, who is a member of the local council in the remote Baghaichhari district.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100507com7.html

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