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Noynoy pre-shaded ballots in Angono; Gibo wants poll desynchronization By Charlie V. Manalo 05/11/2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Noynoy pre-shaded ballots in Angono; Gibo wants poll desynchronization

By Charlie V. Manalo

Massive vote buying in many areas in the Philippine archipelago marked the 2010 polls yesterday, and even pre-shaded ovals for Liberal Party Standard bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino were discovered by voters from Angono, Rizal.

The Tribune yesterday received reports that aside from the massive vote-buying in some areas, voters were allegedly given ballots with names of certain candidates already shaded, prominent of which were pre-shaded Aquino ballots.

In Angono, Rizal, amid reports of massive vote buying, voters will surprised to find out that in the ballots given to them, the name of the LP standard-bearer, Aquino had been already shaded.

“I thought that Noynoy is not stained by these cheating ways? So why is this ballot I hold already pre-shaded,”an elderly voter said.

Also, aside from complaining of having a hard time finding their names in the list of voters in the clustered precincts, Angono voters complained that the voting process is taking a long time they fear not more than 50 percent of the town’s total voters could cast their vote.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, most precincts have registered only an average of 400 votes cast per PCOS machine.
“The way the polls are going, over half of Angono voters will not be able to vote,” said an elderly resident who had queued the long line of voters for more than hree long hours before he was able to cast his vote.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100511hed3.html

PMP presses deeper probe vs LP official linked to narco politics 05/11/2010

PMP presses deeper probe vs LP official linked to narco politics


The Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) pressed for a deeper investigation into reports linking a ranking Liberal Party official to narco-politics after authorities busted late this week an alleged illegal drug shipment and suspected manufacturing base in a pearl farm at Icolong Island in Quezon province.

PMP standard bearer former President Joseph Estrada sought over the weekend a full blown investigation of a report by Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group Director for Region 13 Philip Placer that his agents seized the illegal drug shipment following a raid on a safehousein Sitio Sabang, Burdeos, Icolong Island on Thursday.
“The PMP is calling for an exhaustive inquiry to verify the alleged involvement of some ranking local government officials identified with the Liberal Party as stated by Placer in the report that we saw,” Estrada told reporters.
In his report, Placer said the raid on the Icolong Island pearl farm yielded chemicals that authorities believe to be used in manufacturing “shabu,” or metamphetamine hydrochloride. Placer added that PASG operatives also seized highly-regulated chemicals such as potassium nitrate, disodium nitrogen phosphate, sodium orthosilicate N-hydrate powder, and sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100511hed6.html

Transport firms hit for barring drivers from voting 05/11/2010

Transport firms hit for barring drivers from voting


Labor party-list group Federation of Free Workers (FFW) scored transport companies for preventing their drivers from participating in yesterday’s first automated national elections and exercise their right to vote.

“This is unacceptable! May 10 was declared a holiday precisely to give everyone, including drivers and transport workers the opportunity to make their voices heard,” Julius Cainglet, spokesman of the FFW, said.

According to the FFW, they received complaints from drivers and transport workers who were told not to miss a single minute at work on Election Day.

Cainglet said some transport companies have either required their employees to report for work covering the election period from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; or were given directives to remit their “boundaries” regardless if they report for work or not.

“Employers who prohibit or prevent their employees from voting are guilty of an election offense under our Election laws,” Cainglet said.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100511nat6.html

Bugs spoil dawn of computer age in RP polls 05/11/2010

Bugs spoil dawn of computer age in RP polls


Presidential frontrunner Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III waited five hours in scorching heat to cast his vote yesterday as glitches tarnished the dawn of the computer age in the Philippines’ chaotic election system.

A newly introduced ballot-reading machine broke down at a polling station in the province of Tarlac before he could cast his vote, forcing him to stay in queue until the problem was fixed.

Elsewhere across the archipelago, a heavy turnout estimated at up to 85 percent of the 50 million eligible voters, coupled with unfamiliar technology, meant long queues at the height of the humid Philippine summer.

“This should not have happened,” said Aquino, 50, who showed up at 9 a.m. at a polling station in the northern province of Tarlac where his mother’s family owns a vast sugar plantation.

The senator is the son of late former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino and her assassinated husband, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., both of them revered leaders in the struggle to restore democracy, including “free and fair” elections..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100511nat1.html

Incompetence, thy name is Comelec EDITORIAL 05/11/2010

Incompetence, thy name is Comelec

Click to enlarge

Every election year, the poll body, early in the voting game, always claims that there is a huge turnout of voters, something like 80 percent to 85 percent.
It is a source of amazement just how these Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials can easily give out the high percentage of voters turnout so early in the day, since voting has not been finished as yet when the percentages are given out and there really is no way for the poll officials to give out percentage estimates of the voters’ turnout. But they do. Everytime.

About the only time this can be done accurately is when the count is done, and the certificates of canvass, compiled, can this percentage of voters show just what the turnout was.

Yet another statement being made by the poll officials was that there was a large turnout of voters in yesterday’s elections, as long lines have formed.

But that is a pretty stupid thing for them to say, especially since they know that, as they had decided to cluster 250,000 precincts to just 76,000 precincts nationwide, with an average of some 1,000 voters per automated clustered precinct, that there is a huge turnout of voters, from the long lines of voters being formed..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100511com1.html

Waste of P11B in taxpayers’ money FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/11/2010

Waste of P11B in taxpayers’ money

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Comelec and its partner, Smartmatic, aren’t likely to admit that the conduct of 2010 automated polls was a big mess, and a failure in automation.

It is almost certain that all the reported mess in various precincts nationwide, whether it was the breakdown of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, or their non-functioning machines which led to more and more delays for the voters to exercise their right, the disenfranchisement of many voters, and even oversized ballots, plus the wrong ballots surfacing in certain precincts, along with many more instances of snafus, is going to be dismissed as “isolated incidents,” and not reflective of the “success” of automated polls nationwide.

But the truth is, the automated polls are a failed electoral exercise, mainly because the Comelec officials, blinded by the huge poll budget of some P11 billion, wanted nationwide automated polls, even when they were not ready for this and even as they refused to conduct the polls under an entirely new voting system.

And these Comelec officials, so incompetent already under the old system of voting, insisted on conducting the electoral exercise about which they knew nothing — relying completely on what Smartmatic tells them.... MORE

 SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100511com2.html

Poll chaos throws spotlight on creaking British system focus 05/11/2010

Poll chaos throws spotlight on creaking British system



LONDON — The poll deadlock gripping Britain has fuelled criticism of its creaking electoral system — ranging from anger over chaotic voting arrangements to bemusement at how power is shared out afterwards.

In the country renowned for the so-called mother of parliaments, it was embarrassing to be accused by African observers of serious organizational lapses at polling stations last Thursday.

Hundreds of voters in urban areas were left fuming after being preventing from casting their ballots because they were still queuing outside at 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) when voting stations closed.

“What does it say about the state of our democracy?” asked Dr. Stuart Wilks-Heeg of the University of Liverpool.
“We can project election outcomes using sophisticated ... forecasting techniques, but we cannot devise a voting system which can cope with a fairly moderate increase in turnout in some densely populated urban areas.”.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100511com3.html

Oath VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 05/11/2010


Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz

“Ido solemnly swear that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God”

An oath is a formal vow, an official pledge. It is a solemn declaration, a somber affirmation. The nature and import of a oath even acquires not merely a spiritual content but also a supernal context when the name of God Himself is deliberately and solemnly therein invoked. It would be truly hard to fathom the profundity of the ethical iniquity and the intensity of the moral depravity when an oath bearing such distinct attributions is not simply left unfulfilled but exactly the opposite is in fact done — not once or twice but practically always, not merely in terms of small misdeeds but in form downright customary evil with seriously adverse national impact and accompanied even by embarrassing continental notice.

Unless the above cited “Oath” were flagrantly misunderstood, woefully forgotten or would be substantially changed in text and spirit, then the past, present and future Presidents of this country better know what the sacred vow they took meant or will take mean — under repugnant and abominable consequences here and now, as well as hereafter and beyond — in the event that did or do exactly the opposite. Such would not only be a betrayal of the national but also nothing less than an veritable blasphemy against Divinity! The key constituent elements of the above cited solemn vow are the following:... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100511com4.html

That other election AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 05/11/2010

That other election

Ken Fuller

As I put the finishing touches to this column, it is 5 p.m. (Philippine time), Friday, May 7, and, just 12 hours after the UK polls closed, I know the election result. With 616 of the 650 results counted, it is certain that Britain will have a hung parliament.

As you read this, it is the day after the Philippine elections and, if the Comelec prognosis turns out to be correct, it will be at least another day before you know the results — and maybe not even then, if the vote-counting machines have failed to function. And then it will be the end of the month before Congress canvasses the national results.

Despite the swiftness with which results are announced, votes in the UK are counted by hand, although there are, unlike in the Philippines, no national votes to be tallied. Each constituency elects a Member of Parliament (MP), the winner being immediately declared in the same place the votes are counted (usually a town hall). If there is sufficient reason, the declaration will be delayed by a recount, there and then, with no need to consult a national electoral body or court of law.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100511com5.html

Anwar’s accuser to be grilled in Malaysian sodomy trial FEATURE 05/11/2010

Anwar’s accuser to be grilled in Malaysian sodomy trial



KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial resumes Monday after a lengthy delay, with his lawyers planning to cross-examine the young man who has accused him of illicit sex.

Anwar, 62, says the allegations have been trumped up in a bid to end his political career and neutralize the threat he poses to the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has ruled Malaysia for half a century.

The former deputy premier was sacked in 1998 and jailed on separate sex and corruption counts. Anwar was freed in 2004 after the sex conviction was overturned and went on to reinvigorate the opposition which made big electoral gains in 2008 polls.

The trial opened briefly in February with explicit evidence from Anwar’s accuser, 24-year-old Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who was an aide in his office, but was suspended as the defense pursued a number of unsuccessful legal maneuvers.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100511com6.html

Gangs become father, mother to Haiti’s forlorn orphans FEATURE 05/11/2010

Gangs become father, mother to Haiti’s forlorn orphans



 PORT-AU-PRINCE — They’ve been forced to swap school books for pistols, homework for hold-ups and drug-dealing: with no parents, some of Haiti’s earthquake orphans have turned to slum gangs as ersatz family in a hard-scrabble bid to survive.

Square meals and the comforts of home are part of the past for thousands of youngsters who lost their mothers, fathers and other relatives in the January 12 earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and traumatized the country.
And for some orphans in the capital’s desperately poor shantytowns, roving gangs are filling the void.

In the notorious Cite Soleil, or Sun City, a clutch of youngsters trail behind a scruffy gang leader named “Toutou Soleil 19” and members of his band, darting around makeshift huts and clotheslines strung across filthy alleyways in the capital’s biggest slum.

Toutou, a 31-year-old who still carries knives but says he gave up his guns in a 2006 amnesty, stops and points across a sewer to a crude sheet-metal cabin on a mound of trash at the seafront.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

  URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100511com7.html

Euro countries square up to change focus 05/11/2010

Euro countries square up to change



BRUSSELS — Backstop bailouts for troubled partners, shared economic “government” and tough new budgetary rules: 11 years after the currency’s creation, the eurozone is in metamorphosis amid financial

“That’s the way it always is, from one crisis to the next, Europe reinvents itself,” France’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Sunday.

An unprecedented market tempest that has shaken the eurozone to its core is lifting all taboos surrounding the European Union’s flagship project of monetary union.

Finance ministers from the 27 member states are trying to nail down a “stabilization” fund to assuage markets that have been running wild in Asia and elswhere, merging monies raised by the executive European Commission on the back of EU budgets with guarantees by member states.

“We’re moving into another dimension,” said one diplomat who likened the emerging shape of the plans to a regional version of the Washington-based International Monetary Fund.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100511com8.html

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