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As opaque as Gloria EDITORIAL 05/26/2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

As opaque as Gloria

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Noynoy Aquino, already unprepared for the presidency, appears to be even more unprepared to form his Cabinet, which is an important task, since his choices — or at least his “screening” committee’s recommendations — are to be providing him guidance by way of policies and more importantly, of going about the ways of governance.

Earlier, he had admitted that he was ready to appoint the late Gov. Rafael Nantes to his Cabinet but that the offer had come too late, as the governor died in a plane crash.

He also offered the Department of Justice portfolio to retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who had declined the offer, preferring instead to be some kind of a consultant. 

But if, as vowed by Aquino, he would be doing away with all the presidential advisers to trim the budget, Puno as a consultant or presidental adviser would not come about, unless Noynoy backtraks.

Names for his Cabinet are being floated, and they seem to be composed of some old Cabinet hands, from the Ramos administration as well as the Gloria Arroyo administration.

At least two known Gloria Arroyo Cabinet ranked officials have been more or less named by Noynoy: Former Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman who quickly accepted the portfolio, just as she did when Gloria announced, even before her swearing in last January 2001, that Soliman would be her DSWD secretary. The other Cabinet-ranked Gloria official, Teresita Deles, has also been tapped to head the peace process of sorts.

What it is beginning to look like is that there will be more of the same under a Noynoy presidency — assuming that he will be proclaimed by Congress as the president-elect.

And it will in end be the Cabinet that will be controlling Noynoy, if not manipulating him, given his vast inexperience and his utter lack of constitutional and legal matters, not to mention his laziness, given his no-production record even in legislative matters.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100526com1.html

Theft of the sovereign will FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/26/2010

Theft of the sovereign will

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Denials from both Smartmatic and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) are pretty useless now, given the fact that there have been too many individuals who have come before the congressional body, along with their evidence of the electronic fraud.

The yellow media have been taking pains to make the testimonies from various losers in the last May 10 polls appear to be a case of sour-graping, making light of the pieces of hard evidence submitted to the congressional panel, and all because they are supporters of Noynoy Aquino and echo his line of the need for him to be quickly proclaimed by the Congress’ board of canvassers.
It appears that for all their talk of their fight to uphold democracy and to maintain vigilance, plus the protection of the vote, this talk is meaningless.

They don’t care if electronic fraud marred the polls. Neither do they care that there is strong evidence to support charges of massive electronic fraud because, to them, their presidential anointed won the electronic count which later has been proved to be very flawed.

Yet the yellow media and the Noynoy supporters know that massive electronic fraud has been committed, but they ignore it, a situation that was no different from the way the same mainstream media ignored all the massive vote rigging in favor of Gloria Arroyo in 2004, despite their being aware of it.

It was only after the “Hello Garci” tapes surfaced that these same supporters of Gloria who have now switched to Noynoy, that they realized that the jig was up, and for them to continue their support of her would reflect badly on them.

Still, it cannot be denied that for at least five years, these Gloria supporters who now wear yellow certainly were very aware of the fact that Gloria was cheating to win. And they all covered up for Gloria.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100526com2.html

J3j3mons and Jejebusters HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 05/26/2010

J3j3mons and Jejebusters

Aldrin Cardon
Eow pfouh!

I just wanna say hello, hoping my conveyance would pass for the new twist in the languages — English and Filipino, derived mostly from text (short message) talk that has evolved into the jejemon, used mostly by the youth and those still trying to pass themselves as one.

Our everyday language has evolved! But the jejemon is no longer just a language, it has become a lifestyle mostly to the many text and computer savvy persons, but whose existence has brought countless warnings and reactions that it has now earned an official sanction from government.

The Department of Education (DepEd), through Mona Valisno, does not want jejemon to creep into our schools. Valisno has warned against its usage in schools, but can she stop it from becoming an official part of the Philippines’ modern pop culture, if it hasn’t yet?

I am not a jejemaster, or a jejemonster as others call it, but I see jejemon as something of an evolution of the languages, not a flash-in-pan trend that would go away soon.

Although the jejemon was initially treated as just an aberration of the jologs (a mutant of the bakya crowd, which transformed into the baduy in the 1970s, and generally referred to as actress/singer Jolina Magdangal’s groupies, thus the name, in the 1990s), it has been here for years, just when the text culture had established itself in the country, with shortened and “souped up” spellings of words (ex: w8 for wait), until the youth brought them to the extreme, as seen by the sufferings of “hello po,” which has now become “Eow pfouh!”... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100526com3.html

Word war SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 05/26/2010

Word war

Dinah S. Ventura
We are familiar with the likes of Willie Revillame sprouting furious words on perceived abuses, and the objects of his ire replying in kind. We have seen congressmen and senators ranting from their podiums, delivering long, fiery speeches that are usually shot down by fellow politicians. In our society, word wars are nothing new, but the latest one is leaving many of us quite flabbergasted.

It is not about the PCOS or CF cards or any such techno-mumbo either, although the elections and its results remain uppermost in our minds.

This time, the war is being waged against Jejemons — or that new style of communications taken up by a segment of the youth that has been receiving flak from everywhere, especially the Department of Education (DepEd).

Of all monsters, perhaps the most annoying are the Jejemons, that so-called new youth subculture that has developed from playing with spellings and evolved into a whole way of life, it seems.

One blogger is quoted by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, features editor of the Philippine Online Chronicles who wrote about this movement recently. In reaction to her piece, “momblogger” said, “Jejemon are the new baduy people who text Jejejeje when laughing via text. Or say crap like wer n u? Dito n me.”

In my youth, messing around with words was common. There was a summer when we had fun adding another syllable in between existing syllables, thereby creating our own language — a “code” against the adults, if you may. I suppose you could say we were bored out of our wits at the time. I also know some people in college who continued to do the same thing for similar reasons; they simply wanted to make themselves distinct from others by speaking in their own tongue, so to speak... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100526com4.html

Palestinian relief, Israeli fear as longtime road ban to end focus 05/26/2010

Palestinian relief, Israeli fear as longtime road ban to end


BEIT SIRA — For almost 10 years residents of Beit Sira have been banned from using the highway connecting their village to the rest of the occupied West Bank, their path barricaded by massive concrete blocks.

Now, the highway, known as Route 443, is set to open again to Palestinian traffic after the Israeli High Court ordered the military to lift the ban by the end of May.

For residents of Beit Sira and other villages along the 15 kilometers (nine miles) of the road that go through the West Bank, the motoring freedom means an easing of a decade of frustrations. What was once a 20-minute drive to the main city of Ramallah became an hours-long odyssey on bypass roads and country lanes.

“They built it on people’s land, on farmers’ land and we were barred from it,” said a Beit Sira resident who identified himself only as Ibrahim, as he scrambled over the obstacles. “Closing the road has hurt many people. I hope it will remain permanently open.”

But for the thousands of Israelis for whom the highway is a crucial link between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the decision raises fears of a return to the shootings, fire bombings and stonings that prompted the road’s closure early in the last Palestinian uprising in October 2000.

The Israeli military has been scrambling since the court gave it five months to find a solution that would allow Palestinians to use the road and guarantee security for Israelis.

It’s the latest transformation for Route 443. In recent decades, the highway has changed from a single-lane road winding through the rocky hills dotted with olive trees, to a major highway and a potent symbol of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict..... MORE  

  SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100526com6.html

Swedish royal wedding preparations fuel gossip and controversy FEATURE 05/26/2010

Swedish royal wedding preparations fuel gossip and controversy


STOCKHOLM — Tensions with the archbishop, the future prince’s health problems and the soaring cost of the festivities are just some of the controversies surrounding the run-up to Swedish Crown Princess Victoria’s June 19 wedding.

For her big day, the 32-year-old princess has expressed a wish that elsewhere might sound commonplace: She wants to be led to the altar by her father Carl XVI Gustaf and given away to her husband-to-be Daniel Westling.
In Sweden, however, renowned for its gender-equality, the request has caused quite a stir, with Archbishop Anders Wejryd openly expressing his disapproval and calling on the couple to follow Swedish tradition and walk side-by-side to the altar.

The drama, illustrated last week with front-page spreads in the Swedish press with pictures of a crestfallen princess and an imposing-looking archbishop, has made unlikely allies of traditionalists and feminists in a fight against what is widely viewed here as an American tradition exported by Hollywood.

“Giving away the bride is a fairly new phenomenon that occasionally happens in the Swedish Church,” Wejryd, who will be performing the ceremony next month at Stockholm’s Saint Nicolaus Church, or Storkyrkan, told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

“I generally advise against it, since our wedding ritual is so clear when it comes to the equality of husband and wife,” he stressed..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100526com7.html

P1B paid to ensure victory for presidential bet—lawyer By Charlie V. Manalo 05/26/2010 By Charlie V. M

P1B paid to ensure victory for presidential bet—lawyer

By Charlie V. Manalo

Appearing before the hearing of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms, former Assemblyman Homobono Adaza yesterday bared that a cabal of seven persons, four of whom are regional directors of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and who are in control of at least 14 out the 17 regions in the country, have connived to rig the May 10 polls in favor of an unnamed presidential candidate in exchange for a cool P1 billion.

In his testimony at the resumption of the hearing of the committee headed by Makati Rep. Teddyboy Locsin, Adaza said the group of seven allegedly offered a national candidate to manipulate the election results in his favor for a fee of P1 billion, claiming that the group has control of 14 regions.

Adaza said the group claims it has in its possession CF cards which could be programmed to suit the needs of any candidate.

The former lawmaker said the national candidate allegedly bit the offer.

Quoting his source, Adaza said “one national candidate allegedly accepted the offer. They made the rounds of the national candidates, one of the candidates supposedly bought the deal,” Adaza said.

When the solons asked Adaza who the Comelec officers were, the former lawmaker requested an executive session which the committee granted.

At the resumption of the hearing, Ronald Tan, a defeated vice mayoralty candidate of Tagaytay City, told the committee that three days before the May 10 elections, Comelec officials and employees from two departments approached him and his partymates offering 10 preprogrammed CF cards for P5 million.

Tan said they were told that these cards specified to specific clustered precincts.

“They thought we would give in to their demand. They told us in no uncertain terms that it is easier to cheat in this automated election because it is all automatic. We of course rebuked them telling them that how could that be when all the source codes, all the pin codes are supposed to be secured. And in an almost arrogant laughter, they told us all of these things have already been designed,” Tan told the committee.... MORE   

Source:  The Daily Tribune 

No ‘noted’ this time on CoC queries —JPE By Angie M. Rosales and Gerry Baldo 05/26/2010


No ‘noted’ this time on CoC queries —JPE

By Angie M. Rosales and Gerry Baldo

Unlike in the 2004 canvass of the presidential and vice presidential votes when all questions on the validity of Certificates of Canvass (CoCs) were dismissed by having it “noted” by congressional canvass committee co-chairman Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said every challenge on the CoCs will not be disregarded this time around.

The 2004 elections gave President Arroyo a fresh six-year term but her mandate has been questioned until this day because of credible allegations of widespread and systematic fraud.

“Congress must ensure that the sovereign will of the people, expressed through the ballot, is respected and upheld, and that the canvassing of votes will be undertaken in an orderly and transparent manner,” Enrile said.
Enrile and Speaker Prospero Nograles also said the joint congressional canvass will not sacrifice accuracy with speed in proclaiming the new president and vice president.

As the two Houses of Congress convened as the National Board of Canvassers for the presidential and vice presidential elections yesterday, 61 certificates of canvass (CoCs) are yet to be delivered.

Enrile reported this out yesterday as he addressed his colleagues during the joint session proceedings with the House of Representatives in Batasan Pambansa building in Quezon City.

There are a total of 278 CoCs to be canvassed by the board and so far, there are only 98 local and regional CoCs submitted, 1 local absentee voting and 118 overseas absentee voting CoCs.

A total 222 certificates of canvass were delivered by the Senate to the House of Representatives late Monday night.

Enrile said 54 more COC’s are expected to be delivered soon, making the total number of COCs at 276.

Ballot boxes containing COCs from the overseas absentee voting COC’s and one local absentee voting have already been delivered at the Batasan Pambasa building at 1:03 am yesterday.

The canvassers, however, failed to open a single ballot box containing the provincial CoCs due to debates on the unresolved questions on the authenticity of the election documents. Section 17 of the canvass rules pervaded the initial debates on whether the COCs before them were duly executed, signed and thumbmarked by the election officials that sent them.

The issue was first brought up by Enrile who said in his opening remarks that Congress must determine the “authenticity and due execution” of the certificates of canvass submitted to it relative to the provisions of the Automated Elections Law (RA 9369).

“Comelec must explain why, in its order or directive under Resolution No. 8786 dated March 4, 2010, it disregarded the requirement of the law for digital signatures to be affixed before transmitting the results of the voting,” he said.

Section 17 states: “The Joint Committee shall satisfy itself that (a) each CoC was duly executed, signed and thumb marked by the Chairman and Members of the City, district, and provincial BoCs (Board of Canvassers); (b) that it contains that names of all the candidates for President and Vice president and their corresponding votes in words and figures; and (c) that there exists no discrepancy in other authentic copies of the CoCs or in any of its supporting documents such as statement of votes by city, district, or provincial BoCs or discrepancy in the votes of any candidate in words and figures in the certificate.”.. MORE   

Source:  The Daily Tribune 

Ferrer in shouting match with poll whistleblowers By Marie A. Surbano 05/26/2010

Ferrer in shouting match with poll whistleblowers

By Marie A. Surbano

Shouting, pointing a finger at his accusers and threatening to file a case of libel against a poll wachdog and former lawyer in Commission on Elections Chairman Jose Melo’s office, both whistleblowers on the anomalies found in the Comelec’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) were resorted to by poll Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer yester-day during a hearing where the two were invited to shed light on the anomalies.

A shouting match between the Comelec official and two individuals highlighted the supposed meeting intended to be a discussion on the contro-versial and overpriced ballot secrecy folder awarding.

The Parish Pastoral Council for R esponsible Voting (PPCRV) representative to the Comelec’s BAC, Dr. Arwin Serrano, complained that Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer has repeatedly shouted and pointed a finger at him.
“He (Ferrer) always talks in a loud voice and points his finger at your face. The way I see it, if his finger were a gun, we would already be riddled with bullets,” he said.

Serrano and lawyer Melchor Magdamo, formerly working as a lawyer in the office of Melo, were invited by the Comelec en banc to shed light on the allegedly anomalous contracts entered into by the poll body.

He noted that he did not expect that (shouting match) to happen to the both of them since it came from a man occupying “an honorarable position”.
The Comelec earlier recalled the awarding of the folder procurement contract to OTC Paper Supply after the discovery of the company’s exorbitant price, wherein each of the 1.8 million ballot secrecy folders cost P380.

For his part, Ferrer admitted that he really pointed his finger at Serrano for peddling lies in the face of the commission.

“He probably thinks we are stupid. I said ‘you are a liar’… my blood boiled because it was very clear that he was telling a lie. He was trying to put one over us,” he said.

Magdamo said they will be writing an affidavit regarding what had transpired in the en banc meeting “for the record” since the recorders in the meeting were turned off when temperatures began rising.
... MORE

    Source:  The Daily Tribune

PCGG disowns Abcede push for sale of Imelda jewels By Jason Faustino 05/26/2010

PCGG disowns Abcede push for sale of Imelda jewels

By Jason Faustino

Outspoken Presidential Commission on Good Government Commissioner (PCGG) Ricardo Abcede is on his own or without the sanction of the agency moving to have the fabled pieces of jewelry of former First Lady and now congressman-elect Imelda Marcos sold, as the Commission has said it had not issued any resolution ordering the auctioning off of the three-collection valuables.

Earlier, PCGG Commissioner for Legal Affairs Jaime Bautista told the Tribune in an interview that the agency is not supportive of the call of Abcede for the government to auction off the billions of pesos worth of jewels owned by Mrs. Marcos which has long been in the custody of the PCGG after it sequestered them as part of the Marcoses’ illegal-acquired wealth.

In an en banc meeting, the PCGG discussed the proposal to auction off the Marcos jewelry currently being kept in the vaults of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

In a statement it issued yesterday, the PCGG stressed that Abcede is acting on his own in conducting press conferences and issuing out statements on the purported plan of the agency to sell the jewels or that of the State possibly working out an amicable compromise with the Marcoses for their surrender of all illegally amassed assets both here and abroad.

The PCGG advised Abcede to let the next commission handle the disposal of the fabled pieces of jewelry.

“The Commission notes that there has been no Resolution issued by the Commission authorizing the sale of the collection. Chairman Camilo Sabio and Commissioners Narciso Nario, Tereso Javier and Jaime Bautista agreed to leave this matter to the next Commission,” the PCGG said in the statement.

In the same statement, the PCGG said contrary to the claims made by Abcede, “there is still a legal impediment to the sale of the so-called Malacañang collection of Mrs. Marcos’ jewelry, the ownership of which is still pending litigation in the Sandiganbayan; and that it is not timely to consider this matter because this could be viewed as a so-called midnight transaction” as the Arroyo administration is set to dissolve with the entry of a new one on June 30.... MORE   

Source:  The Daily Tribune 

Pinoys among crew of ships seized by Somali pirates By Michaela P. del Callar 05/26/2010

Pinoys among crew of ships seized by Somali pirates

By Michaela P. del Callar

From almost zero, the number of Filipinos being held hostage in Somalia has gone up again with 63 of them presently in the custody of ransom-seeking Somali pirates.

As the cycle of kidnap- and hijack-for-ransom activities off Somalia continues unabated, the Philippine government is in a dilemma on how to protect Filipino seamen from such attacks.

At a time when the number of Filipino hostages were reduced to almost nil from more than a hundred, armed Somali brigands struck again, hijacking several foreign vessels with Filipino crewmen, the latest of which was a Taiwanese vessel with three Filipinos on board.

The Taiwan-registered fishing vessel F/V Tai Yuan 227 was seized by Somali pirates on May 13 while it was lingering at a fishing ground north of Seychelles.
Apart from the Filipinos, also onboard the vessel were nine Chinese, Taiwanese, Kenyan and Mozambique nationals.

Seized earlier by the pirates were three Filipinos onboard the M/V St. James Park, one onboard M/V Iceberg 1, 19 onboard the M/T Samho Dream, 21 onboard M/V Voc Daisy, and 19 onboard the M/V Eleni P.

Manila has already sought the help of the international community to beef up efforts and intensify cooperation against piracy, which has now extended to other shipping routes....MORE

Source:  The Daily Tribune 

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