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Noynoy makes Gloria look good EDITORIAL 05/17/2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Noynoy makes Gloria look good

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As the days go by, Noynoy Aquino and his conquering yellow horde are making Gloria, who is passing on as the most hated president ever, look good.

Noynoy, not yet proclaimed even as a president-elect, is spewing out divisive statements almost by the hour.

Gloria’s Palace apologists who have been used to being mauled with invectives from the public as a price for defending Gloria, are getting a big reprieve from Noynoy and now many are saying they’re not so bad after all — compared to the yellow horde’s defense of Noynoy’s divisive utterances.

Noynoy’s ways are doing Gloria a big favor since now, more Filipinos are seeing the intransigence and intolerance of Noynoy and his yellow horde on many governance issues as part of his and their vengeful nature....MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100517com1.html

Hocus PCOS FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/17/2010

Hocus PCOS

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
There were just too many securities features disabled and done away with for the automated elections by both the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic to make it easy for massive automated cheating to come into play.

Just days before the polls, with the announcement that some 2,000 flash cards having been found defective, Smartmatic pulled all the cards and had some 76,000 flash cards supposedly imported and reconfigured for election day. Why all, when only 2,000 were found defective?
But that move was certainly suspicious, since only all the flash cards were supposedly configured, yet no one from the various political parties’ watchers was allowed to be present during the second configuration of the flash cards.
In much the same way, while the random manual audit is ongoing, Comelec and its watchdog, the PPCRV, have not allowed watchers for this random audit. Why not, if everything is aboveboard?
The problem is that the automated election system is not above board, and many have come up with evidence to prove that there was indeed massive electronic fraud that accompanied the automated polls.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

  URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100517com2.html

On war front, Obama rediscovers personality politics FEATURE 05/17/2010

On war front, Obama rediscovers personality politics


WASHINGTON — From gala receptions to long walks in the park, the Barack Obama administration is embracing a brand of personality politics with the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan that it once scorned.

Taking office, Obama made the fight against extremism in Pakistan and Afghanistan a top priority but also tried to depersonalize what he saw as predecessor George W. Bush’s perilously chummy relationships.

Obama administration officials openly mused on whether elements of the Pakistani establishment kept ties to extremists and pressed Afghan President Hamid Karzai hard on allegations of corruption.

The conclusion, more than a year later, is that the approach backfired.

The White House welcomed Karzai on Wednesday with a red carpet and public kind words, just weeks after it threatened to yank away the invitation after he made a series of strident remarks critical of the West.

Karzai was invited for meals with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who later took the Afghan leader on a stroll through the rose gardens of the historic Dumbarton Oaks mansion..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100517com3.html

Not so fast, smartass! DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/17/2010

Not so fast, smartass!

Herman Tiu Laurel
Along with Smartmatic, the Comelec and PPCRV, mainstream media clearly tried to pull a fast one on the public last week when they declared the automated election system (AES) a massive success, which speed had “stunned the nation” as headlined by one newspaper. Its even ballyhooed on its Web edition its star columnist when he declared himself a convert, from an automated election skeptic to a believer in the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) system.

But just two days after election day, after the Comelec’s legal chief Ferdinand Rafanan expressed “euphoria,” the PCOS shit had suddenly hit the fan. Four presidential candidates backtracked from their earlier statements of concession and charged that the AES count showed very serious anomalies.

Four days later, even more complaints and protests surfaced. By now, everybody knows about the discrepancies brought to light by mayoralty candidate Lito Atienza between the PCOS and manual counts in many of Manila’s voting clusters. As I write this, over a dozen Quezon City candidates, including three mayoralty, three congressional, and over half a dozen aspirants for councilor banded together and held a press conference to denounce widespread anomalies in the PCOS election tally, as well as, the random manual audit that is being held in secrecy (without the presence of observers from various opposition parties or candidates).

Mayoralty bet Annie Susano, for one, presented a handwritten letter, purportedly an offer from a Comelec operator, to “fix” the results in QC in her favor for P150 million. Another candidate for QC mayor also observed that in many precinct counts for him and his running mate, Aiko Melendez, there is a uniform 17 percent share of the votes, which bears another statistical improbability.

Meanwhile, congressional candidate Vivienne Tan (representing QC’s 1st district) also narrated the statistically anomalous situation in several precinct cluster counts where there were exactly the same vote totals.

I called up the campaign manager of Laguna gubernatorial bet Joey Lina, Nanding Martin, who had called me a week later to report that the PCOS tests in their province failed completely and where test ballots cast for Lina were not counted by the machines.

The machines the Comelec finally used were supposed to be good but when the election results came in, they were stunned by the statistical improbabilities, so much so that they couldn’t figure out how to even begin examining the results.

From the European Digital Rights Web site, we have this report on the controversy of automated voting systems:

“The use of e-voting was challenged by political scientist Joachim Wiesner and his son, physicist Ulrich Wiesner who complained that the system was not transparent because the voter could not check what actually happened to his vote, being actually asked to blindly trust the technology. The voting machines which are manufactured by the Dutch firm Nedap, do not print out receipts. In the plaintiffs’ opinion, the results could be manipulated. A petition signed by over 45,000 people in 2005, trying to ban e-voting, had been rejected by the German government. Now, the court ruled that the Federal Voting Machines Ordinance having introduced e-voting was unconstitutional because it did not ‘ensure that only such voting machines are permitted and used which meet the constitutional requirements of the principle of the public nature of elections’…

“Also the court considered that, differently from the traditional voting system where manipulations and frauds are much more difficult involving a high degree of effort and a high risk of detection, ‘programming errors in the software or deliberate electoral fraud committed by manipulating the software of electronic voting machines can be recognized only with difficulty.’ Also, in the court’s opinion, the electors should be able to verify how their vote is recorded without having to possess detailed computer knowledge.

“If the election result is determined through computer-controlled processing of the votes stored in an electronic memory, it is not sufficient if merely the result of the calculation process carried out in the voting machine can be taken note of by means of a summarizing printout or an electronic display.”

A campaign against electronic voting has been initiated by EDRi member Chaos Computer Club together with the Dutch foundation Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet (We don’t trust voting computers) because of the risk of electronic errors and the potential for abuse. After a group of hackers had succeeded in tampering with similar machines in the Netherlands in 2006, the Dutch government imposed a moratorium on the use of electronic voting machines and Ireland also has banned electronic voting.

If Lina’s campaign manager, a UST philosophy graduate who has held various managerial positions in transnational corporations, including Levi’s Philippines, has had difficulty comprehending the many technical facets of automatic voting, how then could countless others with much less expertise even hope to understand when a PCOS machine has been pre-programmed to cheat, as explained in computer expert Ike Señeres’ blog, www.senseneres.blogspot.com.

Susano thus says of the PCOS: “This is setting a precedent for all future elections; we will scrutinize this minutely. It’s turning out to be a dangerous proposition.” So says this text: “If the PCOS (peddlers) get away with (their) tricks this time, they will probably use it in referendums next.”

Truly, we can’t afford to let the PCOS smartasses pull this fast one on us.

(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 “The Automated Election System Mess” with IT expert Vivienne Tan and candidate Annie Susano; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100517com4.html

Anger, hope meet Ground Zero mosque plan FEATURE 05/17/2010

Anger, hope meet Ground Zero mosque plan


NEW YORK — An ambitious plan to build a mosque next to New York’s Ground Zero is prompting hope — and anger — in a city scarred by terrorism.

There’s little to see now at the site, an abandoned clothing store two blocks from the former World Trade Center where nearly 3,000 persons died on Sept. 11, 2001.

But Feisal Abdul Rauf, a New York imam and a leader of the project, says the planned multi-story Islamic center will transform both the drab lower Manhattan street and the way Americans have looked on Muslims since 9/11.
Boasting a mosque with sports facilities, a theater and possibly day care, the center would be open to all visitors to demonstrate that Muslims are part of their community, not some separate element.

“There’s nothing like this that we know of in the United States,” Rauf told AFP. “This will be a community center for everyone, not just for Muslims, but non-Muslims.”

These are tense times for American Muslims who find themselves increasingly painted both by the public and law enforcement bodies as a possible source of terrorism.

A failed car bomb in New York’s Times Square on May 1 was allegedly planted by a Pakistani-born American, prompting senior figures in Washington to recommend stripping basic rights from US passport holders suspected of Islamist militant links.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100517com5.html

The Filipino verdict HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 05/17/2010

The Filipino verdict

Aldrin Cardon

By now, even with Congress yet to convene to canvass the presidential and vice presidential tallies, we have a president-in-waiting already; and focus would now be on the close fight between leader Jejomar Binay and close second Mar Roxas, with still some five million votes to be counted.

With former President Erap Estrada not yet conceding while waiting for Congress — which will declare the winners for the top two leadership posts of the land— to convene, the former president would not be sulking in one Polk St. corner as he probably had long realized to have achieved his goals after seeking the presidency, himself, once again when the opposition failed to come up with a unity candidate, as he had wanted.
There were eight candidates who proclaimed themselves as coming from the opposition, running against Gibo Teodoro, who failed to shake away the ugly tinge of Gloria Arroyo from his name. Gibo, as well as many other GMA candidates, later realized the strength of the opposition vote with him placing a far fourth behind Noynoy Aquino, Estrada and Villar, while the other GMA candidates in many congressional and local positions fared badly as well..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100517com6.html

Hocus-PCOS? SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 05/17/2010


Dinah S. Ventura
As usual, mixed reviews arose about the press conference called by the bottom three performers in the recent polls: Nick Perlas, Jamby Madrigal and JC de los Reyes. Some opined that their complaints of a so-called “electronic Garci” left a bad taste in the mouth, while others said it is well within their rights to do so and also a valid reason to look deeper into the new election process. After all, we cannot afford to be too lackadaisical in this matter.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is perfectly happy to report that the first automated polls of the Philippines was “a success,” all things considered. Indeed, the speed of election results — about 80 percent in two days! — impressed many, and despite the long wait under the sweltering heat, 75 percent of the voting population, or some 38 million Filipinos, got to vote.

Then again, observes the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), Comelec had earlier predicted that about 85 percent of the voting populace would cast their ballots on May 10. As it turned out, the slow pace, the absence of their names on the registered voters list and malfunctioning machines disenfranchised quite a significant number of voters.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police has said it was relatively peaceful this year, though some foreign observers beg to differ. Of course, we had expected so much worse so the violence that transpired in Mindanao and a few provinces seemed small or “manageable” to some people..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100517com7.html

Noynoy faces hostile Senate, House — Miriam 05/17/2010


Noynoy faces hostile Senate, House — Miriam


Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. will likely retake the leadership in the chamber which will be dominated by senators opposed to potential president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Villar ally Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said yesterday.
Aquino’s Liberal Party (LP) is priming up to negotiate alliances in a bid to secure the leadership in the Senate but “they do not have the numbers,” Santiago said.

An Aquino administration will also likely be faced with a House dominated by opposition parties led primarily by the Lakas-Kampi-CMD of outgoing president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo who is being groomed as Speaker. 

Santiago, however, said the majority bloc in the Senate will likely play the role of the “loyal opposition” similar to what the parliament in the United Kingdom has to provide qualified support to policies of an Aquino administration.
If we don’t have a loyal opposition in the Senate, the Aquino administration will likely have a chaotic government in which all branches of government are in conflict.

Aquino, if he wins the presidency, will likely face a hostile Supreme Court because of his intransigence on recognizing the appointment of Associate Justice Renato Corona as Chief Justice.

“If the opposition controls both houses, it will be difficult for Aquino to push his legislative agenda,” Santiago said in a radio interview....MORE

Source: The Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100517hed1.html

PMP dares Roxas camp: Show proof to win claim 05/17/2010

PMP dares Roxas camp: Show proof to win claim


Confident of victory by its vice presidential candidate Jejomar Binay, the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) yesterday twitted the Liberal Party’s claim that LP vice presidential bet Mar Roxas would edge Binay by some 200,000 votes when the final votes from LP’s alleged bailiwicks are finally counted.

Lawyer and PMP senatorial bet JV Bautista dared the LP to show from which regions Roxas would cull his votes and not be selective in divulging only provincial results which favor the LP vice presidential candidate.

Bautista accused Roxas’ camp of “misleading the public by selectively” showing provincial results favorable to the LP bet.

“Why don’t they show the regional results. They are again misleading the public by showing only favorable provincial results. 

Region by region, Jojo Binay won 14 out of 17 region,” he added.

Bautista said while Roxas won in Pampanga, Binay was victorious by wide margins in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Bataan. “We won in Region 3,” he added.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100517hed2.html

Last three winning senators likely to be proclaimed today 05/17/2010

Last three winning senators likely to be proclaimed today

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking at the possibility of proclaiming the last three winning senatorial candi-dates today, a week after the May 10 elections.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said if they would get substantial votes, they might proclaim the three new senators that would complete the Top 12.
“We expect them to be proclaimed on Monday (May 17) considering that there will be no proclamations Sunday but we will continue receiving transmission results from the field... so, hopefully we can get enough numbers to proclaim senators-elect,” he added.
There are still around three million uncanvassed votes that will decide the last three slots.
Based on the last updated tally (11 a.m., May 15), the candidates who occupied the last three slots were former Sen. Sergio Osmeña III with 10,996,061 votes; incumbent Sen. Lito Lapid with 10,327,121 votes,and Rep. Teofisto Guingona III with 9,686,352 votes.

Rep. Risa Hontiveros is currently at 13th spot with 8,581,125 votes followed by Rep. Ruffy Biazon with 8,148,685 votes; and Joey de Venecia with 7,867,883 votes.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100517hed4.html

GMA allies accused of poll fraud in Lanao Sur By Gerry Baldo 05/17/2010

GMA allies accused of poll fraud in Lanao Sur

By Gerry Baldo

Allies of President Arroyo are being accused of causing the looming failures of elections in two towns in Lanao del Sur province for allegedly manipulating and suppressing the results of the voting there.

According to Masiu town mayoralty candidate Aminullah Arimao, at least 43 public school teachers did not report to their respective precincts in Masiu on Election Day after they were ordered by Public School Division Superintendent Normillah Pangandaman to “stay away” from the polling centers.

Arimao said he expects the Commission on Elections to penalize Pangandaman, who is a close relative of former Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman.

Meanwhile, the declaration of a failure of elections in Taraka town is being sought after the polls there were reportedly attended by fraud allegedly involving a relieved election officer named Mandangayar Sumagayan.

Kennedy Basmala, mayoralty candidate in Taraka, accused Sumagayan of canceling the local precinct count of the votes and ordering the non-transmission of results from the municipality to the provincial board of canvassers in Marawi City.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100517nat2.html

Team Enrile dominates foes in Cagayan polls 05/17/2010

Team Enrile dominates foes in Cagayan polls


Congressman-elect Jack Enrile’s Team Cagayan has walloped all its opponents in the gubernatorial contest and in the races for all the three congressional districts in Cagayan province even though they ran under the Liberal Party and were supported by a multimillionaire contractor and other moneyed businessmen.

Re-electionist Gov. Alvaro Antonio and Vice Gov. Odi Fausto trounced Rep. Manuel Mamba and his running-mate, Harry Tamargo by a large margin, ending Mamba’s political influence in Cagayan, particularly in the third district, where he maintained, according to his opponents, a checkered political career.
Jack Enrile himself won by landslide over his two opponents, Ignacio Taruc and Joaquin Agatep.
In the second district, re-electionist Rep. Florencio Vargas defeated by a wide margin former Cagayan Gov. Ed Lara.
In the third district, Manuel Mamba’s younger brother, Francisco Mamba Jr., lost easily to Randy Ting, a former Tuguegarao City mayor..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100517nat5.html

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