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Keep your hair on EDITORIAL 06/11/2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Keep your hair on



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
06/11/2010
The more appropriate word to greet President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, should not be congratulations but good luck with the hair-raising problems that he is inheriting from Gloria Arroyo, whose plunderous reign spanned nine years.
Thus, he is assuming the presidency with the highest expectations ever for a new president with the least resources left available in government.

In his press conference after being proclaimed by Congress, Noynoy mentioned the back-to-back fiscal blowouts of P298 billion last year and more than P300 billion this year as a major challenge for his administration.

The huge fiscal shortfalls mean pressures to cut down on government spendings or to bridge the gap with increased borrowings that would add on to the country’s already gargantuan debt pile of more than P4 trillion.

Since a big part of the budget is automatically appropriated, Noynoy, if he adopts a tack on spendings cut, would be looking at slashing the already limited social expenses in the budget that spells trouble for any administration.
Noynoy added that he would continue Gloria’s cash transfers program, “without its political undertones,” as a form of social assistance to the poor.

A drastically reduced budget would, however, make such effort an exercise in futility. 

That seems just for starters, the United Nations (UN) itself had called the attention of Noynoy on commitments the country made on reducing poverty and hunger which were apparently kicked to the wayside under Gloria..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100611com1.html


Letter to VP Jojo Binay FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/11/2010

Letter to VP Jojo Binay



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
06/11/2010
Dear Jojo:

Just a bit of friendly advice from an old friend who tells it like it is.

Whether you heed this advice or not, is all up to you, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Today’s yellows, who really are the elite civil socialites recently turned yellow, are once again holding influence and political clout, if not power and position. 

Although you are pretty much considered by the Aquinos as Cory yellow, the new yellows, or the old civil socialites, who have not rid themselves of their holier than thou attitude, are bent on destroying you, as they have already started calling you a trapo, and stained by corruption, bringing up the cases filed against you in the Ombudsman’s office, and already throwing allegations of your having pocketed so much money from educational supplies, to construction of buildings and roads in Makati City and even alleging that you have been extorting from the Makati businessmen while you sat as mayor of Makati.

It is not surprising that these elite civil socialites, or the perfumed set, are out to destroy you. This is what they did to Doy Laurel, even during the 1985 campaign. Cory Aquino was, to them, their creation, whom they could manipulate, and they would protect her at all cost, including turning a blind eye to the many irregularities that went on in her government... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100611com2.html


Putin: Too early to predict my future FEATURE 06/11/2010

Putin: Too early to predict my future



FEATURE

06/11/2010
SOCHI — Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said it was too early to predict his political future, despite swirling speculation he intends to return to the Kremlin in 2012 presidential polls.
“We need to wait for 2012, now we are only in 2010... Let’s get closer to 2012 and then we will see,” Putin said in an interview this week with Agence France-Presse.

Putin served as Russian president from 2000 to 2008 and was credited with restoring the country’s self confidence after the chaos that followed the fall of the Soviet Union.

He handed over the Kremlin to Dmitry Medvedev in May 2008 after serving the maximum two terms and the new president immediately appointed his predecessor prime minister. Most analysts believe Putin still wields the real power.

Putin is allowed to stand for another term as president in 2012 but has never excluded or confirmed this possibility.
He said “we are of course already thinking about this issue with President Medvedev” but added it would be wrong to come to any agreement without fulfilling their duties in their current posts.

Putin hinted that the final outcome in 2012 would depend on their performance in their respective jobs. “How we act in 2012 depends on the results of this.”

“There is nothing secret here. Everything is well known to everyone,” said Putin.

He told AFP that he was satisfied with his “colossal” responsibilities as prime minister, a job which until his appointment had been invested with relatively little power.

“The importance of the decisions that are taken is very high. Therefore I like very much what I am doing now,” said Putin..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100611com3.html


Wasting the celebration NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 06/11/2010

Wasting the celebration



NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
06/11/2010
Makati City’s two-day commemoration of its 340th Foundation Day, June 10 and 11, will be capped by a Grand Parade at 4 p.m. this afternoon. Main roads are closed to traffic; private car and public utility drivers are best advised to continuously check for the latest Internet and radio announcements on what alternative routes to take.

The parade shall be followed by a special staging of Aawitan Kita sa Makati at 5:30 p.m., at the 6th floor auditorium of the University of Makati. The episode, entitled “Harana sa Pamanhikan,” features singers Bimbo Cerrudo, Christine Escudero, Raul Montesa, Bangge Mabanta, Miguel Castro, Milay Guinid, Reymond Sajor and Bayang Barrios, is sure to please city senior citizens and guests. Carlitos Siguion-Reyna directs; I will not be in the program following doctors’ orders to rest for at least two weeks after they put a pacemaker in me.

Makati celebrates, and among its other achievements is Jejomar Cabauatan Binay, the first local official to get elected into national office. Or, as wags put it, our “first black vice president.”

Levity aside, I laud all those behind last Wednesday’s impressive proclamation of the new president and vice president. We’re what we are as a people, so naturally there were speeches and speeches galore. President Joseph Estrada extended felicitations through his son, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada: “I join our people in extending unqualified support to the new President with both hope and prayers he will serve our country faithfully and will perform his duties honorably without fear or favor.”

That was the correct venue for Erap to concede, for hey, he was no senator or ordinary tal pulano in the presidential race, he was former president, for heaven’s sake. He deserved being part of protocol and tradition, na ewan ko naman kung bakit hindi maintindihan ng mga detractors who insist that he was merely being churlish or pikon when he wouldn’t concede as fast as the others did.

Sen. Nene Pimentel said he’d already edited his speech, but still it was lengthy, buti na lang at nakakatawa in parts, such as when he said the event really had to be mounted in broad daylight, or it would have been hard to see Binay. The comment reminded me of the stealthy crack-of-dawn proclamation of Gloria Arroyo and Noli de Castro in 2004, and I realized that was the other point of the quip, to remind us of the presidency stolen from Fernando Poe Jr.

The outgoing senator dutifully took note of the flaws in the automated election system. Talaga namang while we appreciate the speedy poll count, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and supplier Smartmatic still have a lot of explaining to do.

House Majority Floor Leader Arturo Defensor made passing mention of the need to amend the Constitution, particularly relating to elections. I believe he meant the long, long roster of party-lists and I agree. The party-lists will have to be limited to the truly marginalized, alisin na diyan ang mga pro-Arroyo groups, like Mikey Arroyo purporting himself to be representing security guards, imagine that.

This lola hopes that soon after the euphoria of the proclamation dies down the new government resolves the nitty-gritty and goes down to “brass tacks,” as the cliché-ridden are wont to say, para hindi na uli ganito sa elections of 2013.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100611com4.html


Erap’s humble acceptance SILVER LINING Dean Ernest Maceda 06/11/2010

Erap’s humble acceptance



SILVER LINING
Dean Ernest Maceda
06/11/2010
Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada read President Joseph Ejercito Estrada’s statement before the proclamation of President-elect Noynoy Aquino.

Erap’s acceptance of Noynoys proclamation was well received and was interrupted by applause from the Batasan audience several times.

The salient parts of Erap’s speech were:
“Today, as Congress completes its duty to canvass the votes to proclaim the new president of the republic, I humbly accept the final verdict borne out by the official results, and in accordance with the process ordained by our Constitution.

I sincerely offer my congratulations to my good friend and worthy opponent, President-elect Simeon Benigno Aquino III, on his impending proclamation as the duly elected President of the Republic of the Philippines.
I join the Filipino people in extending my whole-hearted support to the 15th President of the Republic under whose leadership the country now looks to the future with highest hopes that he will serve our country faithfully and honorably.

I believe that President-elect “Noynoy” Aquino has the mandate of the electorate. He rightfully carried with pride the illustrious name and legacy of his martyred father, the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., and that of our much- revered former President, the late Corazon Aquino. More than that, Noynoy Aquino bravely stood up to the challenge of the times when destiny called upon him to run for President under circumstances that can be best-described as divinely inspired..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100611com5.html


Proclamation: A meaningless ritual DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 06/11/2010

Proclamation: A meaningless ritual



DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
06/11/2010
There was a proclamation of a president and vice president in this country at two in the afternoon the other day. I was neither excited nor interested. Newspaper items about the designer barong the new president picked for his proclamation were woefully reminiscent of Gloria Arroyo’s coronation and her nine-and-a-half years of inglorious fuss over such mundane matters as wardrobe and other frivolities. Even the hullaballoo about where the new supposed president will be residing smacked of a rehash of the “dilemma” the first Aquino had between sleeping at Arlegui or in Malacañang when she was about to assume power in 1986.

The more things change, the more they stay the same — so goes a French saying. But really, as spelled out by this Tribune headline the other day, “RP among world’s most anarchic nations — UK index,” the only thing that stays the same is this country’s dire situation continuously turning for the worse.

The annual GPI (Global Peace Index) of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) ranked the Philippines 130th out of the 149 countries it studied based on 23 indicators, “ranging from military expenditure to relations with neighboring countries and levels of violent crime” and gauging domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society. The Philippines was rated even below Thailand, at 124, despite the latter’s political turmoil; just two notches above Myanmar, at 132, and nine positions above North Korea; and sixth most disorderly in Asia after Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The Philippines fell 10 notches from its 2009 ranking and was one of five countries with the biggest drop for a year on the index. Furthermore, perceptions of criminality in Philippine society rose to a score of 4, which is defined in terms of “high levels of distrust in other citizens.”

I caught part of the proclamation hoopla as I went into an office where the TV was on, and heard Sen. Nene Pimentel’s speech which drew some cheers and laughter. As I was listening to him, I couldn’t help but recall how these very same Yellow legislators passed the laws that liberalized our economy and destroyed our tariff revenue base; demolished protection for our industries; privatized public utilities; raised consumer taxes; and caused our economy to crumble through the 24 years of the Yellow era.

The newly-proclaimed president has said several times in his interviews with media that one of his major problems is the gaping financial deficit. Yet how he can solve it with the very same economic team — composed of “technoquacks” like “Boy Blue” del Rosario (reported to be the next Finance chief) and Joey “17 percent VAT” Salceda — which created that very problem, from 1986 down to Gloria’s two stolen terms, is one for Ripley’s.
As I wrote this, I was told by some who saw the proclamation rites that Sen. Jinggoy Estrada had already expressed President Estrada’s congratulations and concession to the victory of the “New Aquino.” I most certainly do not reflect that view, though I have — and I will say it at the risk of sounding immodest — sacrificed the past 10 years to defend and uphold truth and justice (economic, as well as, political) for and in behalf of the masa of Edsa III and President Erap.

It has to be said that this “New Aquino” and his closest supporters and advisers were the crux of the problem that started in 2001 when they foisted their Edsa II; transgressed upon the rights of all Filipinos and the laws of the land; and imposed a most corrupt political leader in the person of Gloria Arroyo and the policy regime of total liberalization and corporatization of the national economy that has led us to become “one of the world’s most anarchic nations.”

There is no doubt that providence, that inexplicable element in human and historical life, played a great part in denying the destiny of President Estrada and the genuine populist-democratic movement behind him, with which I identify, despite 10 years of honorable sacrifice and indefatigable struggle. First, Cory Aquino and Eraño Manalo died; then the Hocus-PCOS machines lied and changed the equation.

But where is providence really leading us to? Is it a last chance at redemption by the Yellows for their failed 24 years of governance? A last chance, for instance, to redeem the name of a grandfather who has been tagged a “makapili;” and a way to atone for a father and mother’s treason in paving the way for the ultimate loss of Sabah from the Philippines? Or is it a prelude to an ultimate failure overtaking the Yellow era that will allow a genuinely new, nationalist, democratic leadership with a social-market direction to finally triumph?

And so the rah-rah boys of the new regime herald their new government as RP’s “new hope;” but didn’t they say the same about Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, and Gloria Arroyo?

The only genuine opposition to the prevailing system fronted by the Yellow movement is Edsa III. It must continue projecting its pro-masa crusade while consolidating and developing its forces. The independent media must also strive to aggressively keep their critical faculties alive to help the people overcome the opium of false hope from a false leadership that’s really controlled by the plutocracy. Edsa III must maintain its message, for in the end: It is the substance, not the ritual.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV — Infowars Edition, on “Hocus-PCOS and Synarchism” with Obet Verzola and Ado Paglinawan, Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)



(Reposted with permission by Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100611com6.html

Noynoy camp conducting AFP loyalty check—DND chief By Mario J. Mallari 06/11/2010

Noynoy camp conducting AFP loyalty check—DND chief


By Mario J. Mallari
06/11/2010

Acting Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales yesterday revealed that there are ongoing loyalty checks within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), apparently coming from the camp of President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

In his speech during the turn-over ceremonies for the retirement of AFP deputy chief of staff Vice Admiral Emilio Marayag at Camp Aguinaldo, Gonzales also noted Aquino’s reaction to his announcement that he will be joining the ranks of the opposition during the Aquino administration.

“I heard there are ongoing loyalty checks within the Armed Forces. You might be blacklisted because of me,”said Gonzales to the troops, noting Aquino’s statements regarding his (Gonzales) plan to become an opposition figure.
“We were given special mention last Wednesday to the effect that I will be a critic of the incoming President. He (Aquino) said that he has not even started his duties in Malacañang yet I am already planning something, which is why he said I am no longer honorable. (AFP Chief of Staff) Gen. (Delfin) Bangit and I have not been planning anything, but it looks like I and General Bangit have gotten the ire of the President-elect. So please, General Bangit, don’t be too sad. You are not alone. We are together,” said Gonzales.

The acting defense chief reminded AFP officers and soldiers not to “backstab” each other when subjected to a loyalty check.

“I want to remind you always to remember not to be tempted into dividing the military. The future of the country and the AFP rests on the military being united. If you will be subjected to a loyalty check, just don’t destroy each other by backstabbing your fellow officers. Defend each other. Defend the institution. Show your loyalty and duty to the institution,” said Gonzales.

Immediately after his proclamation, Aquino announced he will not retain Bangit as chief of the 120,000-strong military organization.

Aquino, in an interview with reporters at his residence, did not hide his displeasure in the statements issued by Bangit the past few days, telling the camp of the incoming Chief Executive to “treat the military organization with honor and dignity.”

“I will let him be for the meantime but I hope he will keep this in mind, that it’s not yet my responsibility. But after this (incident), I will allow him time to absorb the situation. From what I heard in the news, it’s not okay with me to forget the fact that civilian supremacy (prevails in this country),” said Aquino.

The incoming President also lashed back at Bangit, raising several that hounded the latter’s appointment to the AFP such as that of bypassing several senior officials and timing of appointment.

“For instance, let’s go back to the appointment of Bangit. He was appointed one day before the (election) ban. But the first day of the ban was the birthday of (retired AFP Chief Victor) Ibrado, so the vacancy happened Mar. 10. He was appointed Mar. 9. You don’t appoint somebody to a post that’s not vacant, that’s fundamental.
“Now what Bangit (is saying is that he) always professed to following the Constitution and that is embodied in the Constitution and our laws,” Aquino pointed out.
“There are also issues, persecution of a particular class. What about the classes that were senior to them, never got that opportunity? What about the others who don’t belong to their class? It’s one class out of so many classes. The generals, they are in positions of power and privilege,” he said, obviously referring to Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class 77 which had earned the reputation of being the favored batch of President Arroyo.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100611hed1.html


Aquino allies step up bids for top Congress posts By Angie M. Rosales and Gerry Baldo 06/11/2010

Aquino allies step up bids for top Congress posts


By Angie M. Rosales and Gerry Baldo
06/11/2010

The jockeying for position for the leadership of both chambers of Congress heated up some more yesterday as putative candidates for the Speakership and the Senate presidency stepped up efforts to gain support for their bids.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan practically named yesterday the senators he is banking for support on his bid for the Senate leadership, naming among them known allies of Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. who was believed to be also gunning for the seat as well as incumbent Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile when the 15th Congress opens on July 26.

Pangilinan said the fate of his bid for the Senate presidency will not depend on the choice of his Liberal Party (LP) but the vote of 13 or more senators implying that he may pursue his candidacy even if another senator, likely Senator-elect Franklin Drilon, becomes the LP’s choice.

“Thirteen senators are needed (to elect the Senate chief). There are only four of us (from LP). That is why it is so important to reach out to at least nine others and be able to convince them to help join us in advancing anti-corruption programs and anti-poverty agenda of President-elect (Benigno) Aquino III, or anyone willing to align with us,” he told reporters during a news forum in the Senate.

Pangilinan does not discount the possibility of Enrile retaining his post as “compromise” candidate, “if there will be a stalemate.”

“If he (Enrile) doesn’t have 13 votes, that’s not good. It does not speak well of the Senate if any of us cannot even get 13,” he said. 

The Lakas-Kampi-CMD party of outbound Arroyo, meanwhile, admitted some of its members have indicated intentions to either jump ship or support the candidate for Speakership of the Aquino administration.

Party spokesman Local Water Utilities Administration chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. said 24 party members are set to bolt the party and support the speakership bid of Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, who was a former Lakas-Kampi-CMD officer with the position of party vice president for external affairs before jumping to the LP prior to the May 10 polls. 

Belmonte was also the executive vice president and treasurer of the defunct Lakas CMD, the predecessor of Lakas Kampi CMD.

Pichay said Arroyo, as chairman of the party, has allowed the 24 members to retain their respective status as party members in a bid to remain as the dominant bloc in the House of Representatives with 109 members.

“Our party will now be divided into the majority and minority when the 15th Congress opens. It’s a sad development but some of us have their particular reasons for not joining our attempt to retain power in the Lower House, we cannot prevent it and we are just respecting the decision of our partymates,” and Lakas-Kampi-CMD member Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay told reporters during the Usaping Balita News Forum yesterday.

Magsaysay said the party leaders are “realistic” about losing backers for its own speakership bet – Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100611hed2.html/


Arroyo ordering appointees not to give up posts — solon By Angie M. Rosales 06/11/2010

Arroyo ordering appointees not to give up posts — solon


By Angie M. Rosales
06/11/2010

President Arroyo has been doing her rounds, practically giving her so-called “midnight ap-pointees,” a call and telling them not to resign.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan yesterday said it was not only Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin Bangit who received such a call from Arroyo but a number of officials as well.

“Up to now, I was told, she’s been doing those ‘midnight calls,’ not just midnight appointments. The information that we have been receiving is that she’s been giving them calls, her appointees, telling them not to resign,” he told reporters during the Kapihan sa Senado news forum.
Pangilinan claimed the other day it was Arroyo’s supposed phone call to Bangit that made the AFP chief of staff do a sudden turnaround on his decision to resign his post.

“The information I’m receiving is that it is the President herself who is talking to a number of appointees,” Pangilinan insisted.

“That’s the legacy she’ll be known for. Even toward the end of her term, the legacy she’s leaving is that of giving phone calls to issue illegal orders.

“She is building a phalanx of GMA loyalists who, when she steps down, she hopes will continue to rally behind her and protect her back, thereby creating more problems for the incoming administration,” he stressed.

“Our call to her is this: ‘Please, don’t create more problems as it is and please stop making these calls.’ Because they, out of delicadeza, all these appointees should submit their courtesy resignations.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100611hed3.html


Obama calls Noynoy, offers to help him quit smoking 06/11/2010

Obama calls Noynoy, offers to help him quit smoking


06/11/2010

President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino had 15 to 20 minutes, all for himself, of the time of US President Barack Obama, immediately after he was proclaimed by Congress as the winner in the May 10 elections.

And in that conversation, where Aquino admitted that there was some dead air between the two of them, the President-elect opted to inject some humor, that of his oft-criticized smoking vice which the US leader was also known for in the past, until he decided to kick the habit. 

Aquino shared with reporters yesterday his experience of talking personally, over the phone, to Obama who congratulated him on his proclamation by Congress last Wednesday.

The President-elect narrated that he and Obama initially had an awkward moment, as they are “not close” and that it was their first time to talk to each other actually.

“He had more experience than I had in talking to foreign heads of state. At some point I attempted some humor. Mr. President I understand we have the same issue with smoking. And he said, ‘well I quit that already. I quit, it’s your sole problem. I’m ready to offer advice,’” he said quoting Obama.

Aquino said the US leader promised to send the advice “at the time that you decide to quit.”

“We had a pleasant conversation. I won’t say we are very close, it’s the first time I talked to him. But again I believe he was very sincere in his words of fostering stronger relationships with our country. And I think the (US) ambassador in my initial meeting with him really exuded that drive to make our relationship that much better. So I am hopeful they really would talk first in addressing the problems of our country,” he said.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100611hed4.html


VP Binay may take oath before SC chief 06/11/2010

VP Binay may take oath before SC chief


06/11/2010
While President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino has made it clear that he will be taking his oath of office before Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay may take his oath before Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Aquino’s decision to proceed with plans not to take his oath of office before Corona does not bother him, the chief magistrate reiterated.

“That is the President-elect’s decision. He has that prerogative because there’s nothing in the Constitution that requires a newly elected President to take his oath before the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,” he told reporters.

Corona revealed that other elected officials, including VP Binay, have expressed their intention to take their oaths of office before him.

Supreme Court spokesman and court administrator Jose Midas Marquez expanded the statement and said that Chief Justice Corona respects the decision of the incoming president to take his oath of office before Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.

Marquez said it has always been the position of Corona to respect whatever decision Aquino would make in connection to his inauguration, especially after the latter had vocally questioned the appointment of the chief justice last month.

The SC official also stressed that the chief justice does not even see any malicious intent in Aquino’s decision.
“I wouldn’t put it that way – that it’s his (Aquino’s) protest to the ruling that allowed the appointment of Chief Justice Corona. One can disagree with decision without really questioning it,” he explained.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100611hed5.html


Comelec: Same PCOS for 2013 polls By Marie A. Surbano 06/11/2010

Comelec: Same PCOS for 2013 polls


By Marie A. Surbano
06/11/2010

Still insisting that the automated elections were a huge success due to the speed with which the election results were posted, a few hours after the polls closed, and dismissing all charges of electronic fraud as baseless, coming as they do from losing candidates, Commission on Elections Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal yesterday said that the PCOS and its system will still be utilized for the 2013 polls.

Larrazabal said he and the rest of the poll officials realized the use of PCOS machines as vital in the next elections because it has been proven to be fast.

But he stressed “we have to discuss this in the en banc. (But off-hand), we have come to agree that the (PCOS) system is ideal for 2013… Personally, I think it should be the PCOS because people now know how to vote.”
In its probe, the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms uncovered instances far too numerous to be ignored, of pre-shaded ballots, discrepancies in dates, time and results in election returns (ERs), re-scanned ballots and unconfirmed reports of pre-programmed compact flash (CF) cards, and a possible connivance between Smartmatic, the technical provider and Comelec to leave the doors wide open for electronic fraud.

The Comelec leased over 82,200 PCOS machines to the consortium of Smartmatic Corp-Total Information Management Corp., for P7.2 billion.

Five days before the May 10 polls, however, the Comelec ordered the recall of all its compact flash cards after showing technical problems when machines rejected reading the names of the candidates for the local positions.
Larrazabal admitted that the system is still in need of more improvements but pointed that the May 10 elections was definitely “better”.

“It’s not a perfect election but definitely it’s a better election compared to previous elections,” said Larrazabal. “It heralded a new era of elections in the country. And in 2013, the voters would expect nothing less than that.”

Some of the proofs of the “better elections”, Larrazabal noted, are the faster time to cast the votes, the opportunity to see all the names of the candidates in the ballots, and the speed of the results’ availability.

The Comelec official said there are still some things they would like to see amended in order for the country to have a better election system and that everything does not lie in their hands.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100611hed6.html


Taal continues to rumble; residents nearby evacuated 06/11/2010

Taal continues to rumble; residents nearby evacuated


06/11/2010
More than 6,000 residents in four towns of Batangas province were evacuated by the Batangas Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) yesterday afternoon as the world’s smallest volcano, the Taal Volcano, continues to show signs of possible eruption.

In their monitoring of the volcano yesterday, Batangas PDCC officials saw that indicators pointed to its activity rising. 

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said due to the continued rumbling of the volcano it will maintain the “Alert Level 2” it hoisted over it. 

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum told the Philippines News Agency (PNA) over the phone that after taking measurements, they found that the temperature of the crater lake had risen. 

Solidum said strange animal activity, an indicator of an impending eruption, has also been noticed around the volcano since June 8. 

He said it was the Batangas PDCC’s decision to call for an evacuation of the residents near Taal.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100611nat2.html


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