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No clean polls in 2013 EDITORIAL 06/16/2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

No clean polls in 2013

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
06/16/2012
Whether it is Malacanang or the Commission on Elections (Comelec), or the politicians now enjoying power and privilege, or even the Supreme Court justices now seemingly under the thumb of Noynoy, what appears is that neither one truly wants to have clean elections, manual or automated.

The Malacanang tenant, for instance, made it clear that he no longer wants debates on automated polls and only wants Smartmatics precinct count optical scan machines to be used in 2013. He did get his wish compliments of the Aquino court that didnt even bother to check out allegations of the major errors found in the PCOS, having no more great debates among justices whether PCOS is to be used or another automated system.

The Comelec as constituted today is even worse, because despite its commissioners knowledge of the many errors found in machines as well as their vulnerability to electoral fraud, insists on using the same PCOS machines whose glitches, major and minor, said to number over 235, have not been fixed or corrected at all..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120616com1.html

Who gained from Aquino’s US and UK visits?

Who gained from Aquino’s US and UK visits?


By BENJIE OLIVEROS
Bulatlat.com
Malacañang is saying that Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s visit to the UK and the US netted $2.5 billion in investments from Europe and the US. It also said that it has gained the commitment of the US to help improve the country’s external defense capabilities, specifically on the aspect of maritime security.

So if indeed, President Aquino was able to wangle some concrete benefits for the country, why are progressive groups railing against it?

In a press release, the Aquino government said it was able to sign memorandums of understanding and agreement with Pasar-Glencore, Asea Gaz Asia, Royal Dutch Shell, and Nestle. Pasar-Glencore builds and operates copper refineries, while Asea Gaz Asia is a power generation company.

From the US, it claims to have entered into investment agreements with Sithe Global, Denham Capital, GN Power, and Underwriters Laboratories. Sithe Global is a power generation company; Denham Capital is focused on energy and commodities; GN Power is from the energy sector, and Underwriter Laboratories is a product safety testing and certification organization..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/15/who-gained-from-aquino%E2%80%99s-us-and-uk-visits/

Pentagon finishes contingency plans for Syria invasion

Pentagon finishes contingency plans for Syria invasion


Officials with the US Department of Defense have confirmed that the Pentagon has finalized procedures that outline how American forces could soon combat the government of war-torn Syria and officially involve itself in that state’s bloody uprising.

After months of rumors suggesting that the US has unofficially made efforts to weaponize rebel forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, officials with the Defense Department tell CNN that the Pentagon has finished drafting blueprints that lay-out just how the US military could aid in ousting the leader with America’s own troops..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/pentagon-syria-us-forces-923/

Pentagon finishes contingency plans for Syria invasion

Pentagon finishes contingency plans for Syria invasion


Officials with the US Department of Defense have confirmed that the Pentagon has finalized procedures that outline how American forces could soon combat the government of war-torn Syria and officially involve itself in that state’s bloody uprising.

After months of rumors suggesting that the US has unofficially made efforts to weaponize rebel forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, officials with the Defense Department tell CNN that the Pentagon has finished drafting blueprints that lay-out just how the US military could aid in ousting the leader with America’s own troops.

In their report, CNN cites Defense Department officials speaking on condition of anonymity; in a separate sit-down however, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey confirms to the outlet that intensifying violence overseas in recent months has prompted the Pentagon to expedite establishing a role for US forces..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/pentagon-syria-us-forces-923/

Agent Orange’s deadly legacy spreads to Japan

Agent Orange’s deadly legacy spreads to Japan


The fallout from the US military’s use of Agent Orange may have spread from Vietnam to Japan. Massive caches of the toxic herbicide were buried on Futenma, “the world’s most dangerous base,” potentially poisoning the island, a Japanese daily reports.

­The US military presence has long been a point of contention for locals on the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, a cluster of islands located some 400 miles south of Japan.


A slew of violent crimes committed over the last 40 years by US servicemen has led 85 per cent of locals to oppose the presence of American bases on Okinawa. However, the military’s most deadly mark on the islands may be a far less visible killer: Agent Orange..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/agent-orange-buried-okinawa-932/

Russia's new super tanks and Terminators conquer Europe

Russia's new super tanks and Terminators conquer Europe


Russian Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the military-industrial complex, praised the domestic weapons this week. In his words, Russian weapons are not inferior to world's best standards and may sometimes exceed them. In particular, he pointed out the sniper rifles, which are produced by a private company supported by the Russian government. The company "produces the best sniper rifles of different calibers in Europe," said Rogozin without making any clarifications, Interfax reports.

The Vice Prime Minister added that Russia currently conducts certification tests for its new gun, "Swift," which after a few months will be accepted for service to replace the Makarov pistol. "This gun is superior to such samples as the Austrian" Glock ", caliber 9 to 19, 18 rounds of ammunition in the magazine. It's a pleasure to even hold it in your hand," Rogozin said..... MORE

SourcePravda.ru

URL: http://english.pravda.ru/russia/economics/15-06-2012/121393-super_tank_terminator-0/

Conditions of OFWs worsened under Aquino – migrant group

Conditions of OFWs worsened under Aquino – migrant group


“While the government relies on the remittances of our OFWs to keep the economy afloat, there are still many cases of abused OFWs because the government continues to neglect them.” – Garry Martinez, Migrante
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com
Sidebar: Former POEA chief axed because of politics?
 
MANILA – People seeking jobs abroad have been buried in debt even before they flew out of the country for employment. Ivy Martillano, 31, for one, is buried in debt and might face charges of estafa if she is not able to settle her debt with Golden Right Pay Light lending agency. She has an existing loan of P70,000 ($1,627), which she was not able to pay because she did not finish her contract as a domestic helper in Hong Kong.

In November 2011, Martillano applied as a domestic helper in Hong Kong because her husband does not have a regular job. “We have two children who we have to feed. I have no job here in our country, my husband, on the other hand, has no regular job. So I opted to apply for work abroad,” Martillano said in an interview with Bulatlat.com.

However, Martillano had a cruel employer abroad. “After only three days, I already wanted to go home. My female employer threw water at me because its temperature was not as she expected. Good thing the water was not too hot,” she said.

Martillano acquired the loan to pay for her placement fee so that she could immediately go to Hong Kong and work. But she could no longer take the maltreatment of her employer and after three months, she finally decided to go home.

“In a period of one year, I was the sixth helper who did not finish the contract with that family because she abuses us.”

She said she worked from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. nonstop. Her only “rest” was while ironing their clothes. She stood while eating and before she slept she would hand wash all the baby’s clothes. She was also made to serve her female employer’s parents. “In my contract, it was stated that I would only work for them, working for her parents was not included. I was treated like a slave. I even got respiratory tract infection because of exhaustion. Every night I prayed that three months would end so I could go home.”

Martillano is only one of the many OFWs who experienced maltreatment in the hands of a cruel employer. They are compelled to work abroad as the economic crisis in the country is worsening. Under the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III, a huge number of Filipinos are still going abroad to work. Data from Migrante International, a global alliance of overseas Filipinos, shows that from January to October 2011, an additional 1.35 million Filipinos have been forced to go abroad due to lack of opportunities, decent jobs and wages, livelihood and social services in the country. The group said this figure is higher by 5.3 percent than the 1.281 million OFWs who were deployed from January to October 2010.

Labor export policy has intensified under Aquino

In his two years in office, the group said, Aquino has done nothing to alleviate forced migration and instead pursued a more intensified, aggressive and sophisticated labor export policy than his predecessors.

There are many Filipinos like Martillano who have no work here in the country and are being pushed to seek employment abroad. And because she is a mother, she has to find a way to make her family survive.
According to independent think-tank Ibon Foundation, the number of unemployed Filipinos has risen to unprecedented heights from 2001 to 2010 and even continues to reach record-high levels under Aquino. “One in every four workers is either jobless or underemployed.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/15/conditions-of-ofws-worsened-under-aquino-%E2%80%93-migrant-group/

Slain urban poor leader, a servant of the poor, loving husband and grandpa

 Slain urban poor leader, a servant of the poor, loving husband and grandpa

“Thank you for opening your home to us. Thank you for laughing with us. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for showing us what it means when we say that a ‘true revolutionary is guided by feelings of love.” – LFS San Francisco

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

CATMON, Malabon – While Bulatlat.com was interviewing Divina Gulfo, wife of slain urban poor leader Ernesto Gulfo, their three-year-old grandson AJ sat beside his grandmother.

“Grandpa’s gone. I miss grandpa,” AJ said. He then stood up to point to a small dent on the wood, which was hit by one of the two bullets that claimed his grandfather’s life. “Here,” AJ added.

Gulfo, an urban poor leader in Barangay Catmon in Malabon, was killed on May 30, 2012, while having breakfast in front of their junk shop, their family business. At around 7:10 a.m., a man came into their junk shop and asked for the price of copper scraps. But before he could answer, the man drew a .45 caliber gun and shot Gulfo three times. Two bullets pierced his chest. The suspect then casually left the crime scene with another man, who reportedly served as his lookout, Divina, 52, his wife, told Bulatlat.com.

Gulfo was pronounced dead on arrival in Manila Central University Hospital. He was only 52 years old.
“I was supposed to get more rice for him. When I was about to return, a man entered the junk shop and asked, ‘Buddy, how much for the copper?’ Then the man drew a gun and shot him. Two hit his chest and the other hit his plate,” Divina said.

“I could not scream. I was so shocked I could not move. I did not even have the strength to be hysterical. I kept on asking myself if what I just saw was true,” she added.

Gulfo was a known urban poor leader in Barangay Catmon, Malabon. Residents describe him as the “most vocal local leader” against the impending demolition of homes of at least 1,500 families, reportedly to give way to the city government’s housing project under the Community Mortgage Program (CMP). Residents, who are mostly contractual workers and garbage collectors, said their meager income would not be able to pay the monthly amortization of the government housing program.

But currently on top of the CMP, Divina said, is the road widening project that would result in the demolition of at least 37 homes, including the junk shop.

“Who else would have him killed but those who claim this land? I do not like to point fingers but I am sure that it is related to our struggle for land,” Divina said.

Hardworking provider, loving grandpa

Divina Gulfo tries very hard to continue like as before even if her husband Ernesto was killed. (Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
Gulfo and Divina met when he was working as a garbage collector and she a street sweeper for the Metro Manila Commission now the Metro Manila Development Authority. They got married in 1981 and lived, since then, in their humble home in Sitio 6, Catmon in Malabon.

“He was hardworking. He used to study automotive mechanics during the day and worked as a garbage collector at night. He did not want to rest,” Divina said, recalling the days when he handled two jobs in order to provide for their family. “He also worked as mechanic for Rabbit (a bus company) during daytime but still worked for the MMC at night.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/15/slain-urban-poor-leader-a-servant-of-the-poor-loving-husband-and-grandpa/

Supreme Court bares decision on PCOS: No other option left for 2013 automation By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/16/2012

Supreme Court bares decision on PCOS: No other option left for 2013 automation

By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/16/2012

Details of the Supreme Court decision on the P1.8-billion contract for the purchase of election machines for next year’s elections have been made public by the high court.

In its decision, the high court cited the deadline facing the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to ensure credible automated elections next year and emphasized that no alternative has been offered by critics which have pointed out the technical defects in the machines.

“Petitioners could not even give a plausible alternative to ensure the conduct of a successful 2013 automated elections, in the event that the Court nullifies the Deed of Sale,” the SC, through Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, said.

The tribunal added that “as the Comelec is confronted with time and budget constraints, and in view of the Comelec’s mandate to ensure free, honest, and credible elections, the ... execution of the Deed of Sale, are the more prudent choices available to the Comelec for a successful 2013 automated elections.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120616hea2.html

Unas testimony weakens gov’t case vs GMA — lawyers By Charlie V. Manalo 06/16/2012

Unas testimony weakens gov’t case vs GMA — lawyers

By Charlie V. Manalo 06/16/2012
Presenting former Maguinadano Provincial Administrator Norie Unas as prosecution witness at the hearing for the petition of former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo for bail in connection with the electoral sabotage case filed against her by the joint Department of Justice-Commission on Elections (DoJ-Comelec) may turn out to be the Aquino government’s biggest mistake in its all-out effort to pin down the former leader.

Unas, under cross-examination by lawyer Sigfried Fortun, admitted that the 12-0 for Team Unity he alleged Arroyo had instructed a former Maguindanao governor as an order to cheat and even change the vote, finally cracked, as he admitted that the 12-0 claim may just have been a battlecry, as he also admitted that this same 12-0 spiel was mouthed by many during the Palace party function.

This was the assessment aired by the camp of Mrs. Arroyo, saying that instead of bolstering the government case against Arroyo, Unas, in his testimony, only weakened the government position after the former Maguinadanao official admitted he was only forced to testify against the former President for fear of being implicated in the very case he is testifying and two other cases, the Maguindano Massacre and the Chainsaw Murder..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120616hea3.html

MILF to CBCP: Take a stand on Mindanao sub-state By Pat C. Santos 06/16/2012

MILF to CBCP: Take a stand on Mindanao sub-state

By Pat C. Santos 06/16/2012
It is high time for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to come up with a definite stand regarding the ongoing peace process in Mindanao, an official of the country’s largest Muslim rebel group was quoted by the CBCP Web site as saying.

Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panel, said the CBCP had not made its stand clear regarding the peace negotiations.

“In my opinion, the CBCP must (take) a position whether or not they support the peace process. In this current problem in Mindanao, everybody has to take a position,” Iqbal said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120616nat1.html

Angara: Teach Spanish in high school under K+12 By Angie M. Rosales 06/16/2012

Angara: Teach Spanish in high school under K+12

By Angie M. Rosales 06/16/2012

While students, teachers and parents are trying to cope up with the implementation of the 13-year basic education K+12 program, more challenges are coming their way as one senator has proposed the revival of Spanish as a language subject in high school.

Sen. Edgardo Angara yesterday said he will file a bill mandating the Department of Education (DepEd) to include the teaching of Spanish language in the secondary school curriculum, under the K+12 program, to make the next generation more competitive particularly in the business processing outsourcing (BPO) and tourism industries.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120616nat9.html

BIR to chase tax-dodging lawyers, doctors, athletes 06/16/2012

BIR to chase tax-dodging lawyers, doctors, athletes

06/16/2012
The cash-strapped government announced yesterday a campaign to chase tax-dodging lawyers, doctors, accountants and athletes, accusing them of cheating the country of billions of pesos.

Fewer than a third of the 1.7 million self-employed business people and athletes paid taxes in 2010, the finance department said.

“This ‘hard-to-tax’ group of taxpayers will be this year’s focus of the (Bureau of Internal Revenue),” it said in a statement, specifically naming lawyers, doctors, accountants and athletes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120616met1.html

Makati launches third weather monitoring station 06/16/2012

Makati launches third weather monitoring station

06/16/2012
Makati City yesterday launched the third weather monitoring station at San Lorenzo Barangay Hall, in partnership with Manila Observatory of Ateneo de Manila, to provide localized weather forecast.

Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay said the localized weather forecast can provide numerous information and indicators that would assist city officials in making significant decisions that affect the lives and properties of the people in Makati.

The mayor said the “weather station can give localized rain forecast for the day and for the next 24 to 48 hours” that reflects the local weather conditions in Makati, while the Pagasa forecast is for the whole of Metro Manila..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120616met5.html

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