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Comelec should give real score EDITORIAL 01/04/2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Comelec should give real score


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The Smartmatic-TIM consortium that holds the supply contract for the automated elections in May is way behind schedule on the delivery of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines with only 7,000 of these delivered or less than 10 percent of the committed 82,000 machines by May for the automated polls.

Yet the delivery of the machines is merely the first step.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

Portent of things to come FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/04/2010

Portent of things to come


Ninez Cacho-Olivares

If the geomancers get it right this year, 2010, a Tiger year in Chinese astrology, will be marked by political turbulence, with signs of military might coming into the picture.
One Chinese feng shui master claimed that such political disorder would be marked in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Again, if the stars are right — and they may not be so, as fate is hardly decided by the stars — this could mean that the 2010 automated elections, if they come about at all, would be a failure and marked by violence to boot..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

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A disastrous first decade ZOOMING IN Rudy Romero 01/04/2010

A disastrous first decade


Rudy Romero

On Jan.23, 2001, 13 months into the first decade of the 21st century, the person whom a civilian-instigated military
coup d’ etat stood before the media at the San Juan restaurant of publisher Max Soliven and made the following statement: “Do not send your resumés to my husband because they will just go into the waste basket.”

That declaration sounded great, but I had a strong feeling that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would not live to her promise and that there would be no such thing as non-involvement by Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo in the affairs of government. My feeling was borne out by subsequent events, for very soon thereafter, in quick succession, appointment papers were issued to Mike Arroyo’s Makati Central Rotary Club cronies.

Ephraim Genuino was appointed.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

Another ‘Happy New Year’ for the oligarchs DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 01/04/2010

Another ‘Happy New Year’ for the oligarchs


Herman Tiu Laurel

It’s another Happy New Year, not for the people of the Philippines but for the dozen or so oligarchs who are getting the grandest gifts of the season. Manila Water and Maynilad were just given the go-signal to raise their rates despite the fact that they have had years of tax holidays, moderate oil price fluctuations, and the appreciating peso.

At the same time, Meralco is getting a P0.269/kwh increase from a skewed rate basing mechanism, enriching the milking cow not only of its owners but of the whole caboodle of local and foreign oligarchs — including some known domestic bigwigs, plus Prince Jeffrey of Brunei, the Salims, and whoever else are hiding behind the stock deals here and there. Why, Meralco has just announced an increase in its Capex (capital expenditure), which it is also getting from the consumers!

And to top it all, one presidential crony from Mindanao has been guaranteed a whopping 57 percent of energy and power profits by this government.

All these will mean a lot more money spent by middle class consumers on their monthly water and electricity bills. The Energy Regulatory Commission says consumers will get “refunds” in case the peso exchange rate further improves; but that means the “private” utility companies will have already collected in advance from the public and used the money before taking their sweet time to refund whatever is left.

The laws and regulations, and the regulatory authorities, are all skewing the policies to the advantage of the corporate oligarchs, and against the consumers. When we will finally have a consumers’ revolt is a question I’ve often asked, but it should definitely happen before we Filipino consumers become as extinct as the dodo bird.
Of course, this situation is thanks to Cory Aquino and the Yellows, who have all supported neo-liberal economics by putting the corporatocracy and its profits over the people. Voters should thus remember this in May.

As I have written before, I rank heartless, exploitative, greed-extremist oligarchs high on the list of evil elements in society, akin to the likes of the Ampatuans and the coterie of Gloria Arroyo henchmen in power. They kill more Filipinos each year than a thousand Ampatuans could ever hope to. Yet, society in general lets them get away with it. Mainstream media simply allow them to carry on with their looting for decades on end.

Meanwhile, the few consumer protection initiatives there are out there, like the National Association of Electricity Consumers (Nasecore) and Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), are even harassed with nuisance suits by these oligarchs while receiving virtually zero support from mainstream media.

Except for President Joseph Estrada, who has been on record in opposing the utility rate hikes, the remaining presidential candidates have remained mum on these issues. And do I hear any of the senatorial candidates raising a squeak about these either? Nada.

By the way, another major consumer issue has cropped up and again the giant corporations are behind the move to solidify their control of the LPG gas tank supply market by squeezing out independent LPG companies that supply cheaper cooking fuel. The way the giant LPG companies (Petron, Shell and Caltex) do this is to corrupt a few congressmen to legislate their monopoly of the LPG supply chain by outlawing so-called “dangerous, defective LPG gas tanks.”

Well, voters should again look at who is sponsoring this bill favoring the “Big Three” LPG suppliers: None other than Mar Roxas, a VP candidate of the oligarchs, using scare tactics to manufacture consent.

Manufacturing consent is a term for how media, schools, and those who wield power disseminate propaganda to make a population acquiesce to policies that are even harmful to the people themselves. Part of the technique is keeping essential information out of the public’s attention so the consumers will not know that they are being cooked in their own lard. That’s what the scoundrels did in 2001 when they pushed the Epira hoax with other power players by bribing Congress (with Sonny Belmonte allegedly handing out the envelopes) while telling everyone through “their” media that the Epira would be heaven-sent. But when power prices doubled, it was already too late.

With so much money at their disposal, they just kept buying one regulator after another. I am just praying that the escalating abuse will somehow trigger an explosion of rage soon.

This brings us to another hoax being manufactured by the global oligarchy: Anthropogenic (or man-made) Global Warming (AGW). It is intended to make the Third World accept regulations that will limit industrialization and agriculture, as well as, tax carbon emissions of people to establish a new Wall Street Ponzi scheme called “carbon trading.” It is disturbing to see so many Filipinos get taken in by this hoax or be one of its collaborators, and consent to this latest scam of the powers behind the global system, the UN, and international mainstream media.

I watch TV ads of the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change and so-called authorities warn of global warming and spreading disease, and blame our carbon emissions. Well, they should be told that the warmest day in recorded Philippine history was on April 29, 1912, when there were hardly any hand-cranked cars and maybe only one power plant in the entire country.

As I hoped for and expected, the Copenhagen climate conference has flopped, thanks to the genuine concerns of China, India, and Brazil for Third World development. Hurrah!

The thinking nations just won’t allow themselves to be fooled nor will play along with the hoax — unlike Gloria Arroyo, Loren Legarda and a host of other Filipino primates dancing to the organ grinder tunes of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose summary report, by the way, was signed by only 52 scientists. Placed alongside a more significant petition rejecting global warming by 31,000 US scientists — with 9,000 PhD-holders in atmospheric science, climatology, Earth science, environment and other specialties — and the global oligarchs are exposed once again.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulong Pilipinismo, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV, Tuesday, 8:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. on “The New Year: Toward a One World Corporate Dictatorship?”; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

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