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Doing the right thing EDITORIAL 05/21/2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Doing the right thing



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
05/21/2010
Speaker Prospero Nograles plans to file a suit against the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Smartmatic, some Board of Election Inspectors and the National Printing Office for election sabotage.

He really should go ahead and do it, mainly because Comelec has been getting away with election murder, year after election year. And worse, the Comelec commissioners are allowing Smartmatic to get away with electoral murder, too.
No matter how much they deny it, the fact is that there was fraud that marked the 2010 presidential polls, and the fact too, is that the Comelec has been much too remiss in ensuring that the polls would be fraud-free, taking away all the anti-fraud security measures, refusing to allow a source code review by other IT experts, including the political party representatives, and even having all the flash cards for the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines changed, without any independent witness or political party representatives.
At the congressional hearing Wednesday, neither the Comelec commissioners and the Comelec executive director, nor, for that matter, Smartmatic officials, answered the questions posed by the congressmen satisfactorily and credibly.
For instance, in the case of the whistleblower who appeared in a video tape, alleging fraud consisting of some 15 million votes, Comelec, and even the committee chairman, laughed off the claims, saying that a masked man can’t be trusted. Maybe.
But the point is not to trust or distrust the whistleblower, but to dig deeper into the allegations and this they refuse to do.
But putting that video taped allegations of automated fraud aside, there certainly were pieces of evidence that showed different dates of the election returns (ERs).
Just what did the Comelec and Smartmatic officials claim? The time posted in these ERs was not important, they said yet this was very important, since it is the posted time when the machines should have transmitted the votes to the server of the Comelec, claimed to be secured.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100521com1.html


Why concede? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/21/2010

Why concede?



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
05/21/2010
There is pressure being exerted by the yellows for former President Joseph Estrada to concede, with a newly-turned yellow, Lito Banayo, advising Erap to concede defeat to his candidate Noynoy Aquino, yet hinted broadly that Erap may be holding out for some concessions from Noynoy.

That is pretty unfair of Banayo to even suggest that, because from the start, Erap made it clear that he is more than open to conceding electoral defeat when Congress proclaims the president-elect, saying he will bow to the will of the people.

So why should Erap be made to concede? On what basis? The unofficial poll results and the so-called surveys? Why should they be the basis for any candidate to concede? Because of the unofficial count showing a large margins? As things stand, the surveys are way off their margins.

Funny that Banayo calls on Erap to concede to Noynoy, while he does not do the same to the Liberal Party vice presidential candidate, Mar Roxas, who, if the unofficial count is to be the basis, as well as the vote margin, has not conceded. Obviously he should be asked to concede to Jojo Binay. Yet Mar takes the same stand as Estrada — in that he will also wait for the congressional canvassing. Why then do these Noynoy yellows want Erap to concede to their bet, but not for Mar to do the same?.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100521com2.html


Latvia’s cyber ‘Robin Hood’ says he wanted elite to come clean FEATURE 05/21/2010

Latvia’s cyber ‘Robin Hood’ says he wanted elite to come clean



FEATURE

05/21/2010
RIGA — Forget the ponytail. Forget the glasses. Forget every stereotype of a hacker, despite the scifi-geek pseudonym “Neo.”

A clean-shaven, 31-year-old married Latvian wearing a buttoned-up shirt sat down this week to explain why he leaked the pay details of public officials onto the Internet.

Ilmars Poikans’ exposure of alleged flaws in an austerity drive grabbed headlines and embarrassed the elite in this Baltic nation, which has only just edged out of recession.

Snared last week after two months of drip-feeding data via microblogging service Twitter, IT researcher Poikans risks prison.

He is unbowed, however, and claims he simply wanted more transparency.

“Yes, I acknowledge I risked a lot,” he told said at his first press conference since being released on bail.

“I knew the police would come after me sooner or later,” he said. But why, he asked, should he be afraid to give the public the information they needed?... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100521com3.html


To be fair NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 05/21/2010

To be fair



NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
05/21/2010
Anywhere from 1992 to 1998, Renato Corona was legal counsel to President Fidel V. Ramos and concurrent Vice Chairman of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission; member of the Presidential Committee on Bail, Release and Pardon, the Cabinet Consultative Committee on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (GRP-NDF) Peace Talks, and the Cabinet Committee on National Security.

He was also chairman of the Appeals Committee of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), where I served as representative of the film industry, along with Maloli Espinosa (for TV), Celine Madamba (for the youth sector) and lawyer Ato Salud (of the Malacañang Press Office. 

I don’t claim a close friendship with him. In our meetings there was much teasing and banter, especially that pre-Christmas night I was supposed to treat them to Chinese dinner at the Gloria Maris restaurant in Greenhills, only to find out someone had lifted my bag, as in all of it, my cash, credit cards and spare reading glasses, so they ended up paying for me instead. Shortly before Celine got married, she took us to Tsukiji for dinner, and Rene — which is what I called him then — showed up in walking shorts to bravely show off scars from a recent operation. He was his usual jolly self that night, although a couple of years later, meeting again as ninong and ninang when Maloli remarried, he was subdued, and perhaps only properly so, for then he was already with the Supreme Court (SC).

I am asked and pushed to say more about him, and I think: What else do I know of the 23rd Chief Justice of the SC, outside of the trivia that he’s a lolo several times over and that his wife Christine Roco is closely related to movie actor Bembol? Is he as terrible as the presumptive president-elect holds him to be, given that he is Gloria Arroyo’s “midnight appointee?”... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100521com4.html

Hocus-PCOS info war DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/21/2010

Hocus-PCOS info war



DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
05/21/2010
A three-cornered information war is raging. We have in one corner, yellow mainstream media, led by ABS-CBN, GMA-7, the Inquirer, and PhilStar, along with Comelec and Smartmatic, all wanting the public to believe the success of the automated election system (AES), versus the Arroyo camp’s insidious behind-the-scenes manipulation, with both pitted against the independent computer experts and concerned citizens in another corner — counting among their ranks other presidential hopefuls who have withdrawn their concessions after witnessing grave anomalies in the automated elections.

The glaring fundamental truth is that despite Comelec’s declaration of the AES’ 98 percent readiness days prior to the polls, it’s now clear that “Hocus-PCOS” plagued the entire country on election day. Mainstream media declared that the nation was “stunned” by the speed of the PCOS machines but now the nation has also begun to doubt if there was any accuracy in them at all.

Whistleblowers have come out of the woodwork, claiming to be actual participants in the PCOS cheating operations. Let us be careful. As in the “Hello Garci” case, we should expect that guilty parties will preempt any genuine testimonies with fake ones.

In 2005, the Arroyo people tried to present a fake tape with a fake voice in the “Hello Garci” case — via a red herring, so to speak — to waylay the people’s attention. Remember how then Arroyo’s spokesman Ignacio Bunye (now richly rewarded with a tenured position on the Monetary Board) held up two audio discs in an effort to confuse the public?

Methinks the Yellows have first fielded one of their fake whistleblowers with a preposterous tale which the Yellow media can pick up and propagate; hence, the Inquirer’s “Fraud tales grow taller” story on its May 19 issue.

Earlier, that paper began running its “don’t question the Comelec’s AES and PCOS machines” yarn on its May 12 headline and which subsequent letters-to-the-editor brigades followed up with quips such as “the people were just so stunned that before midnight of May 10, election results were already pouring in and that on the following day local winners have already been proclaimed” to create a perception of public approval for the system.

Also, its top yellow columnist aped the same line after posturing against automation for some time, saying he’s glad to be proven wrong. Well, let me hear him say it again now that many issues showing the grossly chaotic and inaccurate implementation of Comelec’s AES and PCOS have come out, especially once a tidal wave of complaints and evidence against the Hocus-PCOS are presented before Congress from all over the tens of thousands of clustered precincts.

The Yellow media bunch has deliberately been deaf to the thousands of complaints of Comelec irregularities: In Quezon City, for instance, Comelec’s refusal to invite observers from the public and the candidates to the random manual audit (RMA) in all three occasions is in direct violation of the election law.

Then, there’s the cessation of the RMA in Manila with just eight election returns (ERs) processed after anomalies were discovered by mayoralty candidate Lito Atienza’s people, despite the law’s requirement that at least 30 ERs are manually audited.

Furthermore, there is the destruction of uncounted compact flash (CF) cards and the further incineration of tens of thousands more when these would be required for weeks and months ahead if and when protests are filed.

And then we hear of the infamous PCOS machines found in Antipolo, which may only be the tip of iceberg, as well as, the eerie silence on the “error rate” of the PCOS machines, which the contract with Smartmatic stipulates should be not more than 0.005 percent but which Comelec admitted at one point could reach 15 to 30 percent; and the list goes on.

In this information war on the Hocus-PCOS, two media vehicles standout in the performance of their journalistic duties: The Tribune and the Global News Network (GNN). I am fortunate and privileged to be in both.

Our followers know enough of the Tribune and are extremely enthusiastic fighters for truth, such as Dionisio Lopez of Zamboanga City who keeps in touch with us through text, giving us regular feedback. GNN manager Harry Tambuatco, meanwhile, was incensed with the way voters were “penalized” with the long lines and the AES’ clear operational inconsistencies with the automated election law. He has also been at the forefront of exposing the flaws of the system amid mainstream media’s doting of the Comelec. These two media institutions stand as the only real counterpoint to the domineering yellow media today.

While there is relief that the onerous Arroyo era is passing on even to an uncertain period of transition, the yellow peril still persists and consternation is growing that the national agenda which President Estrada has always advocated — food security and agricultural development, among others — is being drowned out.

Agricultural production in this first quarter has declined again with the El Niño and is expected to worsen leading into the third quarter with fears of a rice pila.

Despite that, mainstream media have only focused on the so-called “Noynoy versus Corona conflict,” or what that scandalous Aquino sister is doing next. Yet all these are mere distractions from the Hocus-PCOS and other serious issues that the yellow mascot simply doesn’t have a clue on.

Let’s keep ourselves abreast with the Tribune and GNN in this information war against the oligarchs’ media. The latter is available on Destiny Cable for only P500 a month — and already with Russia Today and Al Jazeera. Call 810-2828 or 474-6680 to subscribe!

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m.; Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV, Tuesday, 8:15 to 9 p.m. on “The Philippine Political-Economy Post-GMA Regime;” also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)



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



SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100521com5.html

Namfrel weighs in SILVER LINING Dean Ernest Maceda 05/21/2010

Namfrel weighs in



SILVER LINING
Dean Ernest Maceda
05/21/2010
National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) has come out with a full page ad in the Philippine Star on the conduct of the 2010 elections.

Note the following significant comments:
1. We urge the completion of the counting. The pace of counting and canvassing has considerably slowed after the burst of speed seen in the first 24 to 48 hours after elections. Given that enough time has lapsed for all other remaining counts to have been completed and for election returns to have been picked up, it will be important for the public to receive a full report on this, especially as this may have material effect in tight races. It appears that thousands of PCOS machines have not yet transmitted their results and that these areas be included in the random manual audit.

2. Do not destroy CF cards or delete data. Because of the replacement of CF cards one week before elections and the occurrence of some erroneously transmitted reports, we recommend that the Comelec not destroy any of the recalled cards nor delete any of the erroneously transmitted reports from canvassing system laptops.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100521com6.html


Smartmatic admits PCOS errors on poll day By Gerry Baldo 05/21/2010

SIGNS OF FRAUD FLOOD HOUSE HEARING

Smartmatic admits PCOS errors on poll day


By Gerry Baldo
05/21/2010

Automated polls machine supplier Smartmatic admitted yesterday unforeseen errors in the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines on the day of the elections last May 10 primarily on the time stamps on election returns (ERs) that set off sparks flying at yesterday’s House hearing on the reported widespread electronic poll fraud.
Smartmatic electoral systems manager Heider Garcia when questioned by House members attributed the discrepancy in the stamps on the ERs and the actual voting period was an “unforeseen situation” that triggered Makati City Rep. Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin, chairman of the House committee on electoral reforms and suffrage, to blow his gasket raising the possibility of fraud escaping detection by the Smartmatic system.

A masked whistleblower last Wednesday said a cheating syndicate was able to transmit forged results of the elections through the use of their own PCOS machines that sent results ahead of the official transmissions from voting centers.

“You sons of bitches! You had us standing here guaranteeing to the public and the world that even if fraud is committed, we would be able to trace it. You said we could trace it but now, you tell me that at 10 in the evening,
you could do it [false transmissions] and we would never know?” Locsin berated Garcia.

Doubts on the credibility of the recent elections grew as lawmakers raised questions about the “differing times and dates” recorded on the print out of the ERs from various precincts around the country.

Biliran Rep. Glenn Chong said the time printed on some of the election returns showed that the voting was held on “January 3 at 8 pm.” Another ER showed a different time: “Jan 24 at 12:56 am.” North Cotabato Vice Gov. Manny Pinol added an ER in his province showed print marks of a credit card.

Speaker Jose Nograles said he would ask the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to require Smartmatic officials to surrender back their passports due to their admission that the country’s first automated elections was not fraud proof.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100521hed1.html


Gov’t sets midnight P17-B Malampaya stake sale 05/21/2010

Gov’t sets midnight P17-B Malampaya stake sale


05/21/2010

The government is pushing through with the sale of a profitable 10 percent stake in the Malampaya natural gas project despite the recommendation of the state firm, Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC), which owns the stake, against it.

The sale of the Malampaya stake is projected to earn the government at least P17 billion which Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said would be used to plug an estimated P293-billion budget shortfall by the end of the year.
A PNOC-EC official, however, said questions would likely be raised on the sale of the asset during the final days of the Arroyo administration.

Teves claimed the sale not only has prior clearance from the Department of Justice and from the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel but also the approval of the PNOC-EC board of directors since 2005.

Teves said the proceeds of the sale of the Malampaya stake was already part of the fiscal program that projected the sale of P30 billion worth of state assets to support the budget.

“We have secured all the legal requirements to proceed with the proposed sale of PNOC-EC stake in Malampaya,” Teves said.

PNOC-EC acting chairman Crismel Verano however said questions may be raised on the timing of the sale.
PNOC-EC owns a 10-percent stake in the Malampaya gas field and the rest are held by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. and Chevron Malampaya Llc., which hold 45 percent each.

“Why not give the incoming [national] administration the right to decide whether to sell the Malampaya stake or not?” Verano added.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100521hed2.html

Palace warns of political firestorm over fraud raps By Aytch S. de la Cruz 05/21/2010

Palace warns of political firestorm over fraud raps


By Aytch S. de la Cruz
05/21/2010

The Palace raised yesterday the possibility of a “political firestorm” similar to that generated by the Hello Garci scandal in 2005 that led to calls for Arroyo to step down, as allegations of electronic fraud in the recently held polls on May 10 build up. 

In the Hello Garci scandal President Arroyo was caught on tape rigging the results of the 2004 elections with former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

The disclosures made by an anonymous witness recently claiming that votes were digitally rigged in some areas to favor certain candidates in this year’s national polls, were patterned similarly with the 2004 polls cheating allegations, Palace officials noted.

Deputy presidential spokesman Ricardo Saludo advised lawmakers in Congress to prioritize the canvassing of votes for the top two highest public positions in the land so as not to delay the ‘final act’ of President Arroyo’s so-called legacy: the transition of her government to the next administration.

Saludo cautioned the media and the general public not to get ‘caught up’ in the so-called “Hocus PCOS” fraud allegations to avoid similar events that arose from the ‘Hello Garci’ scandal.

“I remember back in 2004, there were electoral fraud issues being raised during the canvassing and while it is fine to perhaps give them some level of attention, you know, our feeling is that it would be dangerous to allow that to delay the whole process because there is a constitutional deadline to actually proclaim and move on to a new leadership,” Saludo told reporters.
 
Saludo expressed concern the issue may develop into a political firestorm that could bring the public’s trust in the future election proceedings into a state of irreparable loss.

“We should learn from past controversies like these where little problems are extrapolated to suggest that the entire system was broken. I’m not making a direct statement on any particular testimony or material. What I say is that [people should] look at the material and then look at this in the context of the scale of the elections and let’s be careful about extrapolating what may be problems in a limited area to encompass the entire process,” Saludo explained..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100521hed3.html


Bongbong says he’s open to presidency 05/21/2010

Bongbong says he’s open to presidency


05/21/2010

Incoming Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is now talking about becoming President after elections showed him to be one of the nation’s most popular politicians.

Marcos said he had decided to step up to the Senate — after serving for nine years as Ilocos Norte governor and three as a House of Representatives member — purely to give ordinary Filipinos a voice on the national stage.
“I really felt that I could help, I really felt that I had learned very much and I could bring those lessons
to a national stage,” he told Agence France Presse.

Marcos insisted that entering the Senate was not part of a well-orchestrated plan to run for the presidency in the next elections in 2016.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next six years so I think to plan for that is actually not even a practical thing to do, a wise thing to do. Because you have to watch and wait really,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said that he did want to emulate his father by becoming president.

“In the way that every foot soldier wants to be a general,” he said.

Marcos also insists his family has nothing to apologize for in regards to his father and namesake’s 20-year rule of the country that ended in 1986 with a “people power” revolution and a humiliating escape into exile.

“My father doesn’t need me to vindicate him,” a relaxed Marcos told AFP on Wednesday in his first major interview since last week’s national elections that saw him secure more than 13 million votes and a seat in the Senate.

“What will vindicate my father will be the academics and the historians who will look back on his time in the cold light of day and see his administration for what it was.”

To many, Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s reign was dominated by widespread human rights abuses, the family stealing billions of dollars from state coffers and the wholesale slaughter of a fledgling democracy aimed at holding on to power.

But Marcos Jr. said his father, who died in 1989 in US exile and now lies embalmed in the family home in Ilocos province, committed no major crimes and was a superior president to those who succeeded him.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100521hed5.html


AFP, PNP probe fatal misencounter in Basilan By Mario J. Mallari and Gina Elorde 05/21/2010

AFP, PNP probe fatal misencounter in Basilan


By Mario J. Mallari and Gina Elorde
05/21/2010

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are jointly investigating a mis-encounter between police and militiamen under the operational control of the Marines where two policemen and two militiamen in the island province of Basilan on Wednesday.

Basilan Provincial Police Office Director, Senior Supt. Antonio Mendoza said around 5 p.m. Wednesday, he and his men were checking on the presence of wanted persons in the outskirts of Barangay Bacung in Sumisip town when they chanced upon a group of armed men whom they did not know were members of the Citizens Armed Geographic Unit under the control of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-7. He said they called out to the group, which was startled and started shooting at them, triggering a firefight. 

The gun battle lasted more or less three hours in which a member of the Police Special Action Force, a member of the 1519th Police Provincial Mobile Group and two militiamen were killed.

The fatalities were identified as Senior Police Officer 1 Abdurajik Haji, PO1 Charlie Arsenal and militiamen Adduji Kawilil and Alex Munal.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100521nat2.html


PNP draws up security plan for school opening 05/21/2010

PNP draws up security plan for school opening


05/21/2010

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will implement a nationwide security and public safety plan for the opening of the school year in June.

PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa issued a Letter of Instruction entitled “Balik-Eskwela 2010,” which orders the mobilization of all PNP regional offices and national support units to perform specific tasks and coordinating instructions to implement the nationwide security and public safety plan. 

Millions of students around the country are expected to troop to school for the simultaneous opening of classes in both public and private institutions. 

Verzosa said Oplan Balik-Eskwela 2010 ensures the operational readiness of police units in responding to peace and order concerns, including threats from criminal elements that may take advantage of the situation. 

He, though, gave the PNP regional directors the discretionary authority to raise alert conditions as they deem necessary to effectively implement their respective security and public safety plans.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100521nat1.html


‘Massacre’ cop-suspects seek jail transfer 05/21/2010

‘Massacre’ cop-suspects seek jail transfer


05/21/2010
Government prosecutors yesterday asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 to transfer 14 police officers, who were co-accused in the Maguindanao massacre, from the Bicutan jail in Taguig City to the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The police officers wanted to testify against their co-accused in the Maguindanao massacre. 

“There are compelling reasons for herein accused to be transferred back to the PNP Custodial Center to ensure their safety and security so that they can testify truthfully, free from any threat, undue influence and physical harm,” Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon said in a five-page urgent motion he and other prosecutors filed before Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes. 

The police officers include Inspector Sukarno Dicay, SPO1 Eduardo Ong, PO3 Felix Enate, Jr., PO3 Anton Rasid, PO3 Abdulgani Abibudin, PO2 Saudi Pasutan, PO2 Nana Hamad, PO2 Saudiar Ulah, PO2 Hernani Saulong Decupido, Jr., PO1 Esmael Guialal, PO1 Abdullah Baguadatu, PO1 Esprielito Lejarso, PO1 Herich Amaba and PO1 Michael Madsig. 

The prosecutors said one of the 14 policemen received a threat from Datu Unsay town Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. and his father, former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Sr. – the principal suspects in the Maguindanao massacre, where 57 persons were killed, including members of the local media on Nov. 23, 2009..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100521nat5.html


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