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Salungguhit: Panic Time by Flon Faurillo Bulatlat.com

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Salungguhit: Panic Time

All the assurances and bravado of the Comelec amounted to nothing when the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines encountered a lot of problems during testing a few days before the elections. It now remains to be seen if the country would have its first successful automated elections on May 10, but if the recent trial runs are to be the gauge, it would most probably be a disaster on election day.

More Salungguhit editorial cartoons


(Reprinted with permission from Bulatlat.com)


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/05/08/salungguhit-panic-time/

Comelec should look into discarded CF cards — PMP 05/08/2010

Comelec should look into discarded CF cards — PMP


Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) senatorial candidates Francisco “Kit” Tatad, Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo “ompong” Plaza and businessman Joey de Venecia yesterday called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to examine thoroughly the flash cards that have been discarded by its partner Smartmatic Corp.

The senatorial candidates of the opposition PMP said what is inside the flash cards must have something to do with the way it performed before Smartmatic decided to pull them out and replace them with new ones.
“The Comelec should look into the flash cards before it is discarded,” Plaza said yesterday.
Smartmatic had recalled all 76,000 flash cards installed in its precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines because of its failure to accurately count the votes indicated in the ballots. On testing in several cities and municipalities the PCOS machines had failed to count the votes of some candidates.
Tatad and Plaza said that there must be some programs in the flash cards that caused the PCOS machines to fail and that it should be investigated.
In a press conference on Wednesday former President Estrada expressed dismay at the performance of the PCOS machines which were tested in several cities in Metro Manila.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100508hed3.html

Noynoy not sure winner—Erap camp 05/08/2010

Noynoy not sure winner—Erap camp


The Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) yesterday said that any attempt to project Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Sen. Noynoy Aquino as unbeatable, simply based on the recently-released Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia surveys would fail as their results are way off the mark based on “realities on the ground.”

Although Aquino still maintained a lead over his opponents, PMP spokesman Ralph Calinisan said it was not with a wide margin and has even become questionable when ranged against the enormous turnout of supporters at every one of PMP standard bearer former President Joseph Estrada’s campaign sorties and rallies.

“Two or three thousand respondents in Pulse Asia and SWS surveys as against the tens of thousands who welcome President Estrada in his visits around the country? Which is more realistic, and more reflective of what is actually happening at the grassroots level?” Calinisan stressed.

Even the LP’s own internal survey, which Calinisan claimed party officials refuse to publicly divulge, belied SWS’ numbers and clearly showed Aquino leading Estrada by a margin of only 5 percent.

“Interestingly, the PMP’s own survey showed Noynoy at 34-percent, and Estrada at 29- percent, a margin of only 5 percent,” Calinisan revealed...MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100508hed4.html

LP bet, Chiz reject campaign donors disclosure By Angie M. Rosales 05/08/2010

 LP bet, Chiz reject campaign donors disclosure

By Angie M. Rosales

“I wouldn’t dare ask him, and neither will he ask me to disclose where the campaign funds come from.”

This was the gist of the response made by Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet Sen. Noynoy Aquino when he was asked whether he will compel his colleague and supporter, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, to disclose his campaign benefactors.

Escudero, while not a member of LP, is publicly known to be heavily involved in Aquino’s campaign, having contributed largely to Aquino’s campaign war chest and even using his Senate staff to run the media coverage of the party, sources said.

“Is Chiz spending public money to fund Aquino’s campaign from his (Escudero’s) end? He is already getting his Senate staffers to help out in Noynoy’s campaign — even when that is not part of the job that they have been hired,” a Senate staffer told the Tribune yesterday.

A number of Escudero’s staff members have been detailed to the LP, specifically in the media bureau of the LP party..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100508hed5.html

Over 500 foreign observers deployed for RP’s polls By Marie Surbano and Michaela P. del Callar 05/08/2010

Over 500 foreign observers deployed for RP’s polls

By Marie Surbano and Michaela P. del Callar

More than 500 foreign observers are in the country to observe the general elections this Monday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday reported.
According to Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, around 364 foreign observers and 159 foreign media have registered with the Comelec’s Education and Information Department for this year’s electoral exercise.
Jimenez added that almost of all of the foreign embassies will send their representatives to observe the elections.
The government of Japan also has joined several countries in deploying poll observers to the country to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections on May 10.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100508hed6.html

PNP, lawyers’ group tie-up to safeguard elections 05/08/2010

PNP, lawyers’ group tie-up to safeguard elections


The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday signed a partnership agreement with a lawyers’ group to safeguard the holding of clean, honest, orderly and credible elections on Monday.

The PNP and the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) forged a memorandum of agreement (MoA) at the PNP main headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City for a stronger police-civil society partnership in safeguarding the forthcoming national elections. 

 PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa welcomed the newly forged partnership with Lente as a manifestation of active citizen support to the PNP’s initiatives under its advocacy for “Hope,” an acronym for honest, orderly and peaceful elections. 

Lente is a Commission on Elections-accredited citizens’ arm composed of lawyers, law students, and paralegal volunteers from 44 law schools, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and the poll watchdog National Movement for Free Elections. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is its lead convenor. 

Lente honorary chairman, lawyer Christian Monsod said Lente is a coalition of various non-partisan groups organized to monitor election activities, including the canvassing and tallying of votes in cities, municipalities and provinces around the country, to help protect the integrity of the electoral process and to deter commission of fraudulent acts.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100508nat2.html

ZenCom seeks end to political dynasties, private armies By Aytch S. de la Cruz 05/08/2010

ZenCom seeks end to political dynasties, private armies

By Aytch S. de la Cruz

An end to political dynasties in the country that in turn would cause for private armed groups (PAGs) being maintained by some local politicians to be done away with should be among the measures that the 15th Congress must pass, the Zenarosa Commission (ZenCom) has said.

In a fresh list of recommendations he submitted yesterday to President Arroyo, ZenCom commissioner Herman Basbaño enumerated several bills that the body plans to propose to the next Congress when it opens session upon the installation of the next administration.

Basbaño said the ZenCom will strongly lobby for the Anti-Political Dynasty Law once Congress opens, adding the members of the commission hope that Arroyo herself will support it along with the body’s other proposals when she wins a seat in the lower House representing the second district of Pampanga province, where her hometown is.
“I know that it will be not that easy for us to have this Anti-Political Dynasty Law passed, but I think we have to campaign to these public officials, (these) legislators in Congress and the Senate, to do so if they are really after the good of the country. Because this does not only create problems (as it cultivates the existence of) private armies, but as well as other problems for our nation,” Basbaño said.

Incidentally, the Arroyos are among the clans that are currently maintaining political dynasties in the country. Aside from her being President, Arroyo has two sons and a brother-in-law in Congress. She, however, is expected to soon join them and other relatives in the lower House as she is seen to win in her electoral bid.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100508nat4.html

Too little, too late EDITORIAL 05/08/2010

Too little, too late

Click to enlarge

It may have come too little and too late.

The Supreme Court (SC) the other day ordered the Commission on Elections to disclose all its preparations for the country’s first automated polls for Monday, giving the Comelec two days to do so, upon receipt of the order.

If the order was received Thursday — which is impossible, since even the media got hold of the SC order after office hours Thursday — this means that Comelec will have to disclose all the items ordered by the high court by Saturday at the latest. If this order was received Friday, assuming this was hand delivered, the Comelec will have to disclose all these by Sunday — or a day before the polls.

Either date, Saturday, Sunday, or even Monday, would be much too late for any IT group to do a thorough study of whatever study is needed. 

The information the Comelec needs to reveal is a lot as this includes the nature and security of all equipment devices such as software and hardware components, source code for review by interested parties; the terms and protocols of the random manual audit; and certification from the technical evaluation committee that the entire automated system is fully functional and that the continuity plan is already in place.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100508com1.html

Leaks for mind-conditioning FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/08/2010

Leaks for mind-conditioning

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

If there was any doubt that the Social Weather Stations (SWS) was into mind-conditioning, and perhaps even manipulating the results of a presidential candidate that it is supporting, doubt no more.

There can hardly be any doubt left today — not after the still dubious survey results that were supposed to be embargoed for a newspaper, the BusinessWorld, to print for Friday’s issue, were deliberately leaked to the Liberal Party standard bearer, Sen. Noynoy Aquino, in time for the other media establishments to quickly carry the results, showing the LP bet widening his lead, with a 42 percent survey score.

It was reportedly Kris Aquino, sister to Noynoy, who flashed the results in her Twitter account. How else could she have gotten these results?

There are only two possible sources: One, BusinessWorld itself, which would be pretty stupid on the newspapers’ part, since it has exclusive rights to the survey results and would have lost out to the electronic media — in the sense that the electronic media, that do not have exclusivity rights, had robbed BusinessWorld of its exclusive story on the survey results; and two, SWS itself, leaking the embargoed results to Aquino.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100508com2.html

Leap of faith SILVER LINING Dean Ernest Maceda 05/08/2010

Leap of faith

Dean Ernest Maceda

With just three days to go before the nation elects a new President, tension, anxiety and paranoia are expected. This is exactly the time when supporters are on heightened alert promoting or countering last minute black operations, imagined or real. Disunity and acrimony — the usual toll of election day eve.

This election day eve is different. The jitters have arrived on schedule but it is not our opponents we are wary of. Rather, supporters of all colors — for so long divided — have found themselves united against a common foe. Instead of worrying about winning, we now worry about whether we will have elections at all. It has become orange, yellow and green against black.

Even under the best of circumstances, accepting the results of a general election has always required a leap of faith. No effort, however gargantuan, can guarantee 100 percent accuracy in determining the people’s will. It is their acquiescence in the outcome that is the ultimate verdict of whether the electoral exercise was successful, regardless of glitches.

With the events of recent days, it is now clear to many that Monday’s scheduled election is going to need the longest leap of faith. 

The nation has heard Chairman Jose Melo’s assurance that all efforts are being done to make Monday’s polls proceed without a hitch/glitch. Scheduled for today, May 8, is a general meeting with all candidates and political parties to address concerns on automation. And the commission has just instructed that “testing and sealing” dry runs with the newly reconfigured flash cards continue until tomorrow, May 9. But we will continue to seek out peace of mind.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100508com3.html

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