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Needed: Finesse EDITORIAL 06/09/2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Needed: Finesse

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What Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, who is set to be proclaimed president-elect by the Congress today, needs is a lot of finesse in his ways. And so do his supporters and incoming Aquino executives.

From all indications, however, finesse is not in their vocabulary, but humiliation of their perceived non-supporters is.

What reason was there to keep on humiliating Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin Bangit, by continually demanding his resignation at this time, especially when he had already made it public that he was ready to hand in his resignation to the incoming president and commander in-chief by June 30, 2010?

There are just a few days left before Noynoy takes on the presidency and time enough for him to appoint a new chief of staff. There certainly was no reason for Noynoy and his spokesman, lawyer Edwin Lacierda, to keep on pounding on Bangit’s resignation.

If Bangit does resign now, Gloria would have to appoint — even on an ad-interim appointment — another chief of staff, in which case Noynoy and the yellows would no doubt scream another “illegal” midnight appointment.

Why can’t they wait to do all that once they have the power and authority to do so?

Irked by the constant calls from the yellows for him to resign immediately, Bangit took the hardline stance and said he was not going to resign and was willing to be fired by the incoming president, pointing to a provision in the Articles of War saying to the effect that resignation would be an abdication of his duties and functions, for which he can be penalized.

In the same manner, there is too much of vindictive politics being played by Aquino and his camp, even to the point of virtually not wanting outgoing Gloria Arroyo to be anywhere near him during his inauguration. He really should start learning about protocol and a lot more about healing and uniting a still divided nation. But then again, all of it could be an act, as there is strong talk that he and Gloria forged a deal prior to election day.

But he must remember that even as he won the presidency, there were more who had not voted for him and he still must earn the people’s trust and confidence.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100609com1.html

The danger of automated polls FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/09/2010

The danger of automated polls

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
That there was electronic fraud can hardly be denied. The automated system failed. And even the Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials, especially Executive Director Jose Tolentino and Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, weren’t giving out the right answers and were pretty evasive, evidently in a move to protect themselves and Smartmatic.

What’s done is done. What we now have are digitally elected leaders, and as Homobono Adaza put it, it was not the Filipino people who voted for their candidates and leaders, but the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines of Smartmatic.

All signs point to the nation having been duped by the automated machines and through the many sins committed by the Comelec officials and Smartmatic, none of whom were ever transparent with the Filipino people — even today.
It was admitted by Smartmatic at a congressional committee hearing which ended yesterday that ballots could be rescanned and the data stored in the same compact flash (CF) card.

What guarantee then is there that the rescanned ballots and data were not faked?

Then too, the electronic fraud was pretty clear in that while the electronically transmitted certificates of canvass (CoCs) were submitted, no statement of votes (SoVs) were included. There were more irregularities, glossed over by the canvassing board.

Yet there was Tolentino and Larrazabal claiming that the SoV data were still stored in the machine, and that these could not be printed because there were too many precincts and to print the SoV would take months, as these were 10,000 pages. Who buys that story? 

So candidates were proclaimed on the basis of what could be fake CoCs, since fake ballots can be rescanned and data altered in the same CF cards.

It has been found that votes can be manipulated in favor of a certain candidate with the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) manipulative ways.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100609com2.html

As record sales drop, singers share spotlight at festivals FEATURE 06/09/2010

As record sales drop, singers share spotlight at festivals


ARGANDA DEL REY — Javi Amaro has ridden a mechanical surfboard, performed karaoke and had a bite to eat — but four hours after arriving at one of the world’s biggest music festivals he has yet to attend a concert.

“There are a ton of things to do here. Later on we are going to listen to Shakira perform,” the 23-year-old told AFP as he waited in line with a group of friends on Saturday to rappel a rope laid over the crowd attending a concert by R&B singer Rihanna at the Rock in Rio Madrid festival.

With album sales worldwide down sharply due to the popularity of Internet downloads, artists are increasingly looking to live music performances to make up for lost income.

And to draw bigger crowds — and maximize revenues — concert and music festivals like Rock in Rio are offering an expanding array of attractions, from carnival rides to fireworks, along with upscale food, souvenirs and VIP packages that can include backstage access in addition to prime seating.

Rock in Rio Madrid got underway Friday and wraps up on June 14 when heavy metal veterans Metallica headline.
The event’s 200,000-square-meter (240,000-square-yard) grounds at Arganda del Rey near Madrid, dubbed “Rock City” by organizers, include a ferris wheel and other carnival rides as well as several restaurants, bars and shops selling souvenirs ranging from T-shirts to necklaces and lighters.

A major Spanish department store stages fashion shows daily at the festival, giving festival-goers the opportunity to strut their stuff on the catwalk like a top model.
In another corner of the grounds, actors recreate the “Bed-In for Peace” staged by John Lennon and Yoko Ono at an Amsterdam hotel during the Vietnam War in 1969, providing a much sought-after photo opportunity for the crowds.

“Rock in Rio is a theme park more than a music festival,” the event’s 61-year-old Brazilian founder, Roberto Medina, told daily Spanish newspaper El Pais last week.

At the Glastonbury Festival later this month in England, organizers plan to offer circus acts and food from Michelin starred chefs along with the music while the Oxegen festival in July in Ireland will offer a complete funfair.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100609com3.html

Winners and losers MR. EXPOSE Amb. Ernesto Maceda 06/09/2010

Winners and losers

Amb. Ernesto Maceda
Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino will be proclaimed as the 15th President of the Philippines this afternoon. Mayor Jejomar “Jojo” Binay will also be proclaimed Vice President this afternoon, ending up with a 700,000 lead over Sen. Mar Roxas.

With Noynoy’s victory, the following are the “big winners”:

1. The Iglesia ni Cristo that surprised many political observers with its choice of Noynoy. Many believe that if the INC had supported former President Estrada as it has consistently done in the past under then Executive Minister Eraño Manalo, Erap would have won. Removing at least 4 million votes from Noynoy brings down his total votes to 11 million. Add 4 million votes to Erap increases his votes to 13.5 million. Erap would have won by 2.5 million. Many INC members have told us so.

2. ABS-CBN clearly went all-out for Noynoy from the date (Nov. 2) that Noynoy filed his certificate of candidacy for the presidency. It replayed over and over again its programs on Cory’s funeral and also features on Ninoy Aquino. Noynoy’s TV ads received priority and prominent air time. Coverage of Noynoy’s campaign sortie was extensive while coverage of other presidentiables, especially Erap was minimal. ABS-CBN’s all-out favoritism for Noynoy raises a fundamental policy question on what is media’s proper role in an election.

3. Kris Aquino is a big winner. At one point, she was even made a campaign issue and a debate ensued if she was helping or hurting Noynoy’s candidacy. She helped a lot. And so did Boy Abunda, a major ABS-CBN talent.

4. Big business led by the Makati Business Club also came out early to support Noynoy and Roxas. Even GMA partner, billionaire Ricky Razon switched from Sen. Manny Villar to Noynoy during the last few weeks of the campaign.

5. President Erap Estrada against all odds, including lack of funds, achieved his vindication with a respectable 2nd place finish with an impressive 9.5 million votes. His running mate Mayor Jojo Binay won the Vice Presidency. He had chosen Mayor Binay as a personal choice over the recommendation of many advisers for Chiz Escudero and Mar Roxas. His son, Jinggoy was the 2nd placer in the senatorial race. Son JV Ejercito is now a congressman and nephew ER Ejercito Estregan is a surprise winner as governor of Laguna. It is clear proof that 9.5 million people believe Erap is not guilty of plunder.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100609com4.html

Israel denounces ‘incitement’ in wake of flotilla fiasco focus 06/09/2010

Israel denounces ‘incitement’ in wake of flotilla fiasco


JERUSALEM — Faced with world outrage over its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound activist flotilla, Israel is circling the wagons and lashing out at critics, accusing them of “incitement” against the Jewish state.

But opponents claim it is Israel which is doing the inciting.

An Arab-Israeli MP who had been on the aid-laden Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara when Israeli commandos killed nine activists on May 31 has received death threats after fellow legislators accused her of being a traitor.

Rightwing commentator Hagai Segal, meanwhile called for the Al-Jazeera news network to be kicked out of Israel, and possibly designated as a “terrorist organization,” claiming its coverage of the flotilla was marked by “lies, incitement and hatred for Israel.”

Since the raid, which sparked worldwide outrage, Israel has launched a huge public relations campaign to depict the soldiers who boarded the ferry as victims of premeditated violence.

“The current internal discourse is that it is us against them, that the entire world is against us,” says Yizhar Beer of the Keshev Centre for the Protection of Democracy in Israel.

“Israelis feel a strong threat from outside, and see themselves as the victims,” says Beer.

“It takes on mythological proportions: A small people surrounded by enemies, victims with no friends.”
Hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called world criticism of the commando operation an “attack of international hypocrisy.”

Several MPs accused Arab-Israeli parliamentarian Haneen Zuabi of incitement — in some cases even treason — for taking part in the ill-fated six-ship flotilla that aimed at breaking Israel’s blockade of Hamas-run Gaza.

Her attempt last week to discuss the mission degenerated in a shouting and shoving match, with fellow MPs insulting her and yelling “Go to Gaza, traitor.”... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100609com5.html

Sex ed HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 06/09/2010

Sex ed

Aldrin Cardon
Sifting through a European journal I found in a hospital lobby many years ago, I chanced upon a photograph of children giggling through their experience of opening their first packets of condom and putting them in plastic castings of what looked like penises.

I could still recall its caption somewhat vividly as it explained a country’s approach in sex education involving children as young as 10 years old.

Advanced West has long been teaching sex education to their youth without questioning their morals, a touchy subject here but long accepted in many First World countries where sex issues are openly debated.
The Philippines, long under Church rule since Magellan first set foot in the sands of Mactan and dying for that mistake, has never progressed in dealing with sex issues which our Church leaders conveniently hook up with morality. 

The issue is again at the forefront as the Department of Education recently took a strong stand in instituting sex education in schools to expose our children to the realities of life as they are being prepared before they grow up.
As it was before, the Catholic Church, however, is taking a bold stand in countering this government effort, saying teaching children about the birds and the bees should be confined in our own homes.

But it’s like shielding truth with ignorance, not exposing our children at an age when they can already understand serious matters like human reproduction and leaving discussions solely in homes, where, in the more crucial realities of our more modern lives, parents are most often absent, either because they are working or they have to attend to even more serious matters other than discussing sex with their children.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100609com6.html

Sex ed debate continues SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 06/09/2010

Sex ed debate continues

Dinah S. Ventura
With the school opening almost upon us, the debate continues to rage about that age-old question: Should sex education be taught in schools?

One online debate yielded an overwhelming “yes” with 81 percent. An advocate of this school of thought said, “Should teens have sex education in schools? Absolutely. While part of me would like to say that it’s the responsibility of the parents, it isn’t — not fully. Many parents aren’t equipped...,” Jessalyn Pinneo says.

At the opposing end, one Alycia Morales wrote, “Sex education is something that should be taught at home, not in a public school system. If you want to teach human anatomy, teach it in biology class, but don’t call it sex education.”

More than 20 years ago, high school kids of my generation used to giggle and blush at the mere mention of body parts. Girls who were open to casual relationships then were the rarity rather than the norm. Boys could woo their sweethearts all they wanted, but sex belonged in a world we dared not trod.

I also remember, however, that my parents, though doctors, did not sit us down to discuss the birds and the bees. I used to believe they were too busy, but now I think they weren’t comfortable talking about it. I don’t remember how it happened, but suddenly I had a set of pamphlets by my bedside, which, of course, I read in between my fiction binges. I chanced upon a word that had something to do with sexuality, and when I asked my mom about it, she became quite busy fixing the curtains and inching out of the room. 

I’m not sure, but if they had explained those things to me then, would I have had the maturity or wisdom to handle the matter with more werewithal? Stuff we learned in biology class and that silly excuse of a health class (which was supposed to teach sex education, I think, under the nuns’ beady eyes) have little to do with the issues the youth today face that necessitates a sex education subject. 

The world is different now, just as our parents must have thought then when we were kids. Not much has changed, however, in the general feeling of “taboo” when it comes to the subject of sex, especially when it is suggested that it be discussed with children.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100609com7.html

Noy-Bi team wins; proclamation set By Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales 06/09/2010

Mar mulls electoral protest

Noy-Bi team wins; proclamation set

By Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales
It’s final and official: Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and Makati Mayor Jejomar “Jojo” Binay won the vote from the Congress’ National Board of Canvassers (NBoC) tally and will be proclaimed, as announced, president-elect and vice president-elect at 2 p.m. today, and will officially start their reign at noon of June 30, 2010.

But the joint committee of the Senate and the House canvassing the presidential and vice presidential votes ended yesterday amid continuing protests from the lawyers of the losing candidates. Only around 12,489 votes from Lanao del Sur were left uncanvassed.

The proclamation of the new president and new vice president will be held at the session hall of the House of Representatives after the committee report of the board shall have been put into a vote and approved by the joint session of the Senate and the House.

Liberal Party’s Aquino and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino- United Opposition’s Binay won with total votes of 15,208,678 and 14,645,574, respectively.

“I am glad that Congress has concluded the canvass of votes,” Binay said in a statement yesterday.

Binay thanked those who have helped him in the campaign and those who served as his inspiration. He thanked his fraternity brothers in the Alpha Phi Omega, the mayors and other local government officials who helped in his campaign. He also acknowledged the “help and guidance” of Sen. Francis Escudero.

“Likewise my warm thanks to my friend and kumpare Sen. Francis Escudero for his guidance and help. I would also like to pay tribute to three individuals who have inspired me to serve our people. Former President Cory Aquino, Fernando Poe, Jr., and former President Erap Estrada,” he said.

But lawyers for the losing candidates were not happy with the entire process even as they summarized the proceedings as not being reflective of the true will of the people.

“...for an election like this, I am afraid we do a disservice to the Filipino people,” lawyer Homobono Adaza, counsel for presidential candidate Sen. Jamby Madrigal, said.“ I appeal to the members of this committee, and to the members of the joint public session of Congress to analyze very well the judgment on the issues we have here because you are not only ruling on the issues we have submitted, you are ruling also on what would be the judgment of the Filipino people,” Adaza said.

The counsel for Bangon Pilipinas presidential candidate was more articulate with the way the PCOS machines performed. He said that the system had failed to provide the voter as way to confirm his or her votes.

“The voter did not know whether his vote was registered or not, the ATM operator is in a much better and happier position, when he goes to the bank and inserts his card, he knows it is his account, because there is a pin code, there is an account balance, and he has a receipt, but the P7 billion technology does not provide the voter anything at all to enable him to verify whether it was his choice that was registered or not,” the lawyer told the panel.
The Bangon lawyer also said that nobody knew how the machine conducted the count.

“All we have were a few testings and then the machine will add it up and this impresses everybody,“ he said.
The lawyer also said that there is proof that the PCOS machine has difficulty in counting even as he pointed out the erroneous figures that the PCOS machines had dished out before the election.
“It cannot even count the registered voters in the country, it cannot even properly indicate the proper dates in the election returns, it is capable of electronic schizophrenia because it has even to reconcile itself,” the Bangon lawyer said.
“Anything else that follows the PCOS machine has counted would be in the nature of electronic hearsay. In the manual system at least the voter knew whether his choice was registered or not,” he said.
.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100609hed1.html

Smartmatic admits rescanned ballots, data change probable in PCOS By Charlie V. Manalo 06/09/2010

Smartmatic admits rescanned ballots, data change probable in PCOS

By Charlie V. Manalo
House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms chairman Makati Rep. Teddyboy Locsin yesterday backtracked on his earlier statement clearing Smartmatic on the allegations of poll fraud saying it is too early to absolve the PCOS machines supplier from any wrongdoing.

At the conclusion of the House probe into reports of massive cheating in the country’s first automated polls, Locsin said that with Smartmatic not being consistent in its statements, he cannot help but suspect that Smartmatic may also be involved in the electoral fraud one way or another.

“No. you can’t make that expectation (of clearing Smartmatic) until I look at the evidence and testimonies,” Locsin said when asked if he was ready to clear Smartmatic. “It cannot be. You gave answers to those questions for weeks. If your answers keep changing, this is the sign of something.”

Locsin Jr. admitted that the automated election system is “susceptible” to cheating, explaining that cheating in the last elections cannot be ruled out, with the admission of Smartmatic that ballots can be rescanned as well as the data stored in the same compact flash (CF) cards.

Manipulation of votes favoring certain candidates with the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) participation is very probable, Locsin said.

Last week, after the House panel conducted an ocular inspection at the Smartmatic plant in Cabuyao, Laguna, Locsin declared he was satisfied with the PCOS machines supplier’s explanation and demonstration.

“When we went to Cabuyao visit I asked them a summary and the critics said of automation, they passed the test, now we will see about the rest of the testimonies, the consistencies of the reasoning, which is the transcript,” said Locsin.

Locsin also cited the case of Biliran Rep. Glen Chong, which he said was the best testimony on the alleged cheating. While Chong lost by mere 600 votes to his rival, the solon presented documentary evidence such as election returns (ERs) which showed huge discrepancies.

Locsin said he would finish his committee report on the probe, adding the next Congress might use as basis on whether to push forward with the automated election or revert to manual.

“We will know. My report is just one aspect how it will be used by 15th Congress plus other data because they will continue to open other things. We will determine the fate of the automated elections. Then there are the barangay elections, there is a suggestions that we use shaded ballots although it will be counted manually,” said Locsin.
.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100609hed2.html

Nograles scores PCIJ for ‘malicious story’ on SALn By Charlie V. Manalo 06/09/2010

Nograles scores PCIJ for ‘malicious story’ on SALn

By Charlie V. Manalo
While admitting that he had already expected to be bam-boozled for the failure of the House of Representatives to ratify the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill, Speaker Prospero Nograles yesterday lashed at the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) for having gone overboard “unfoundedly attacking” him over allegations of unex-plained wealth.

In a text message, Nograles said it was rather obvious that Malou Mangahas of PCIJ, in her story published yesterday, was merely retaliating after the Lower House, due to lack of quorum, failed to ratify the FoI Bill last Friday.

“I expected a terrible fallout with the non-passage of the FoI bill but not in so malicious a manner as the PCIJ article. I am now the only culprit solely responsible for non-passage of the FoI Bill and Malou (Mangahas) is training her wrath on me personally,” said Nograles.

“I respect her belief. I expect she will also learn to ask why the more vocal proponents of the bill could not help us campaign and to produce warm bodies on the floor for a quorum.”

Yesterday, Mangahas claimed that based on their research, PCIJ found out that Nograles, “from 1995, when he first became a congressman,had a net worth of P6.5 million that had jumped to P88.3 million by 2008, or a 1,258-percent increase in a span of almost 14 years.”

However, noticeably, Mangahas started her story with Nograles’ failure to steer the House into ratifying the FoI Bill.

Nograles stressed he had nothing to hide regarding his wealth and that everything can be found in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALn), of which Mangahas was able to obtain a copy..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100609hed3.html

DoJ asks US help to unmask ‘Hello Nico’ audio tape 06/09/2010

DoJ asks US help to unmask ‘Hello Nico’ audio tape

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has sought the assistance of the United States to determine who “uploaded” on the Internet the alleged conversation between Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ronaldo Puno.

At a press conference yesterday, acting DoJ Secretary and concurrent Solicitor General Alberto Agra said that the department has written the US government, through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), to determine the identity or the source of the controversial uploaded taped conversation.
“The Web site is US-based but 

when you open it, you are now redirected to another website,” Agra said.

The said audio file is already on the web site based in the United States namely, http://www.rpcheaters.webs.com, which currently can no longer be accessed. Instead, this has been redirected to another Website.

The MLAT is an agreement between two countries aimed to gather and exchange information to be able to strengthen criminal laws.

The alleged “Hello Nico” tape is claimed to be a taped conversation between Ferrer and Puno on the alleged plan to rig the May 10, 2010 automated synchronized elections.
Both Puno and Ferrer have denied this.

Meanwhile, the investigating panel on the anomalous ballot secrecy folder project has asked for its third extension saying it needs to get more documents for the panel to come up with a good decision.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100609hed4.html

RP among world’s most anarchic nations — UK index 06/09/2010

RP among world’s most anarchic nations — UK index


The Philippines was listed among the world’s most disorderly countries landing at the bottom 20 percent or at 130th of 149 countries ranked in the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) of the British-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

At its current position, the Philippines was rated even below Thailand, at 124, which had experienced political strife involving clashes between armed troops and “Red Shirt” anti-government protesters that left almost 90 people dead, mostly civilians, recently.

It was just two notches above Myanmar, at 132, and nine positions above North Korea. In Asia, it was the sixth most disorderly country after Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

The IEP said the index gauges ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society and militarization in 149 countries.

The Philippines fell 10 notches from its 2009 ranking at 120 and was listed one of five countries with biggest drop in its position for a year on the index.

The Philippines’ fell sharply amid a worsening security situation in several parts of the archipelago, notably a violent conflict between the Islamist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the government on the island of Jolo in the Sulu archipelago, according to IEP.

“It echoes rises in the archipelago’s indicators of internal conflict and crime,” it added. 

It noted that the conflict between the ASG and government forces in Sulu escalated, with 163 conflict-related fatalities in 2009, compared with 82 during the previous year. 

“The ASG continued to use kidnapping to raise its profile and hostages as bargaining tools. An ongoing contretemps between the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) and the government remained violent and peace talks, initiated by Norway, were postponed,” the IED added.
It said perceptions of criminality in Filipino society rose to a score of 4, defined as “high levels of distrust in other citizens”.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100609hed5.html

Noynoy: Bangit knows own fate By Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 06/09/2010

Noynoy: Bangit knows own fate

By Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari

President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino said he is carefully studying his options in dealing with the case of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin Bangit but it seems the fate of the President Arroyo appointee has been sealed.

Despite the call of Bangit the other day for the incoming administration to treat the 120,000-strong military organi-zation with “honor and dignity,” Aquino, it seems, is not inclined to keep the current AFP chief.

“I think we will have to sit down and talk soon. I have yet to talk to him because we’re yet proclaimed and I dont want to preempt whatever moves to take in the future.

“But I think he and I both understand our respective positions and we’ll arrive at a solution that will take into cognizance that issue along with others,” Aquino told reporters in an interview.

Yet Aquino gave hints as to the fate of Bangit, answering in the negative on whether he will try to reach a consensus with the AFP chief, adding that the latter knows where he is coming from.

“I’m having that studied. But I can challenge anybody to go back to all the statements of people who had that position or any position in the Executive department and the oft-repeated phrase is ‘serving at the pleasure of the president’,” he said.

Aquino’s camp had called on Bangit to resign from his post to give the incoming president a free hand in installing new officials.

Taking the hint from Aquino, military sources believe a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1977 looms as the next AFP chief in place of Bangit.

Several military sources, who requested anonymity, noted Aquino’s pronouncement that his choice for the AFP chief is a member of a class more senior than the PMA Class of 1978 of Bangit. 

“From that statement, obviously we can conclude that the next CSAFP may come from PMA Class of 1977 or even PMA Class 1976,” one of the sources said, citing there are still two members PMA Class of 1976 qualified to be appointed as AFP chief.

A source, however, said that Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, the most senior among three-star generals in the AFP, could be among the top contenders to replace Bangit, who is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 on July 2011.

The official, however, said the appointment of a member of PMA Class of 1976 is remote, saying “the class has already two members who were appointed AFP chief.” The source was apparently referring to Bangit’s predecessor Victor Ibrado and Alexander Yano.

Aquino emphasized that he is aware of the fact that it’s the rank of Bangit that is up for consideration before the Commission on Appointments (CA).... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100609hed6.html

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