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Something smells fishy at the ComelecEDITORIAL 12/07/2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Something smells fishy at the Comelec



Todate, despite the order from the highest court in the land to the Commission on Elections to make public the source code and other election-related documents to private parties that want to do an analytical study of the automated elections of 2010 that was fueled by Smartmatic’s precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, Comelec has refused to obey the order of the high court.

This refusal on the part of the Comelec commissioners—retiring and otherwise — gives rise to suspicions that indeed, there was a lot of “Hocus PCOS” during the last presidential polls.

As things stand, just going by the number of votes and voters, one already sees the electoral fraud.

At the precinct level, the vote count for the presidential candidates already exceeded the count, going by its PCOS-counted votes. Hitting the municipal level, it also shows the increase in votes by at least 2 million, and in the provincial level, there was another increase of about 2 million, or roughly 5 million total votes that fall under the category of fraudulent votes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

 URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101207com1.html

Puppet presidencyFRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 12/07/2010

Puppet presidency


Ninez Cacho-Olivares


It has already been written about that Noynoy Aquino and his Cabinet members hardly hold meetings. But this has now been confirmed by one of Noynoy’s communicators, Ricky Carandang, who was quoted in a news report as saying that the reason for this absence of weekly or even monthly Cabinet meetings is that Noynoy finds them “unproductive.”

“Full Cabinet meetings are not productive. Normally you would talk about different things... and many of the Cabinet secretaries who are not involved in the discussion are just sitting there doing nothing,” Carandang was quoted as saying, in confirming that the Cabinet does not meet regularly.

He added, however, that Noynoy prefers to preside over Cabinet cluster meetings, as these are “more efficient.”

Why then, Carandang continues, should everybody’s time be wasted when they can meet in these cluster committees? And he adds: “Any corporation will tell you it is not efficient to meet everyone at the same time. We are not going to do a full Cabinet meeting unless it is necessary. Otherwise, it is just for show.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

 URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101207com2.html

Climate: Ghost of Copenhagen stalks CancunFEATURE 12/07/2010

Climate: Ghost of Copenhagen stalks Cancun



CANCUN — World climate talks in Cancun were on Sunday entering their final stretch beset by fears of a repeat of the failures that nearly wrecked the December 2009 Copenhagen summit.

Environment ministers began arriving in the Mexican rsort city at the weekend to find themselves plunged into a mood soured by a row over the Kyoto Protocol and a logjam of inter-connected, unresolved issues.

After more talks among senior officials, the ministers on Tuesday get down to a four-day haggle, due to climax on Friday.

The outcome of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathering is unclear, despite 12 days of meetings and a low-ambition goal, say delegates.

“We’re starting to have positions that are a bit stronger and a bit more radical,” said France’s climate negotiator Brice Lalonde, calling for a “spirit of compromise.”

Wendel Trio, the international climate policy director for environmental group Greenpeace, said that so far countries had only spelled out their “most extreme positions.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

 URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101207com3.html

When the military takes the cakeNO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 12/07/2010

When the military takes the cakeNO HOLDS BARREDArmida Siguion-Reyna


So National Democratic Front (NDF) chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni calls for the release of the “Morong 43.” What does the Philippine Army say, through spokesman Col. Antonio Parlade Jr.? “It’s an affirmation that they are NPA members.”

I don’t know what the NDF stands for, although since I’m not stupid, I understand they’re left of center. Whether extreme left or far more than left, this is best left to the more political to explain, as the farthest left I’ve gone is to be friends with Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño and Pete Lacaba. Rebels attract me, I appreciate them whether left or right, such as Trillanes, Lim, Querubin and company, believing that those who disturb the status quo do far better for the country, kaysa naman sa mga di kunwari kumikibo tapos iyun pala, nagnanakaw na.

But on Nov. 19, 2010, the campaign to free the illegally arrested health workers published a full-page petition in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a copy of which I keep in the house as three family members signed it: My brother, Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, and my children, Carlitos Siguion-Reyna and Bibeth Orteza.

“Free the 43!” it reads. “Another day in prison for the health workers is another day that justice is denied.
... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

 URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101207com4.html

Something’s moving out thereAN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 12/07/2010

Something’s moving out thereAN OUTSIDERS VIEW

Ken Fuller


After a while, some of the items that have landed in this outsider’s inbox, along with various saved newspaper pieces, begin to resemble a jigsaw puzzle, and I start to wonder if I can put the pieces together. This is one of those times.

One piece informs me that in 2001 the homeless numbered 99,900 homeless in Australia and 14,145 in Canada, while in the USA the Urban Institute published a study in 2000 (using 1996 data) which estimated that 3.5 million Americans, 39 percent of them children, experienced homelessness every year.

This was, of course, prior to the current economic crisis. Nowadays things must be much worse, an assumption born out by an article from Global Research E-Newsletter (Patrick Martin, “Hunger in America”) which cites a Department of Agriculture report that last year 15 percent of households (that’s 50 million Americans) were unable to purchase sufficient food — a threefold increase since 2006.

The misery caused by the economic crisis in the USA will now probably be deepened by the measures contemplated by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. But traditional Republicans are, of course, being pushed into extreme positions by Tea Party enthusiasts. In this respect, former Reagan trade official Robert E. Lighthizer (Throwing Free Trade Overboard, New York Times, Nov. 13) notes that, while the leaders of both major parties favor “free trade,” 61 percent of Tea Party supporters believe it has damaged the USA.

Lighthizer thinks they might have a point, given that over the last decade 5.6 million US manufacturing jobs have been lost and the country’s trade deficit in manufactured goods has amounted to $4.3 trillion. Moreover, he says, the value of foreign investments in the USA exceeds that of its own overseas investments by $2.74 trillion.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

 URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101207com5.html

Assange hunt appears to have ‘political motivations’focus 12/07/2010

Assange hunt appears to have ‘political motivations’focus


LONDON — The hunt for WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange has “political motivations,” his lawyer said Sunday, as secret US cables released by the whistle-blowing Web site linked China’s top propagandist to Google cyber attacks.

“I’m really rather worried by the political motivations that appear to be behind this,” Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens told BBC television.

Swedish prosecutors have issued an international arrest warrant for Assange over allegations of rape, charges he has denied and has hinted could be part of a “smear campaign.”

The 39-year-old Australian is believed to be in Britain, and a report said he could be arrested this week.

Assange broke cover on Friday to say in an online chat that he had boosted security after receiving death threats amid the storm that was unleashed by his site’s decision to publish about 250,000 US diplomatic cables.

Since Nov. 28, WikiLeaks has published the first of the embassy cables, creating an international firestorm as American diplomats’ private assessments of foreign leaders and politics has been publicly aired.

The United States and other governments said the release of the documents broke their laws.

Stephens told the BBC on Sunday there was a risk that Swedish authorities could hand Assange over to their counterparts in the United States.

“Certainly in my mind it’s very open about that” possibility, Stephens said, adding that he may “certainly” fight the Swedish arrest warrant on that basis.

One of the latest leaked cables meanwhile spoke of Google’s decision to take down its search engine in China.

“A well-placed contact claims that the Chinese government coordinated the recent intrusions of Google systems,” a cable dated earlier this year said.

“According to our contact, the closely held operations were directed at the Politburo Standing Committee level,” it added, referring to the ruling body of the Chinese Communist Party.

A separate cable published Sunday said Saudi Arabia is the key source of funding for radical Islamist groups including al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Another said Tehran is a “dominant player” in Iraq using “all means of diplomacy, intelligence and economy” to get a pro-Iranian regime there.

The release of such cables marks the third major publication of secret US files by WikiLeaks this year, after the site had published tens of thousands of American military files on the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

WikiLeaks meanwhile faces a new threat to its survival after the online payment service PayPal cut off the account used for donations to the Web site.

It has already been forced to switch its domain to Switzerland because its original web address was shut down by a US provider.

WikiLeaks on Sunday urged the public to set up mirror sites to safeguard its future.

In a message posted on the Internet, WikiLeaks noted that it “is currently under heavy attack” and called on the public to set up sites “to make it impossible to ever fully remove” it.

Elsewhere, the Swiss Post Office said it was carrying out checks on Assange’s account with its banking arm, after doubts emerged over the Swiss address he gave. AFP.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

 URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101207com6.html



Something smells fishy at the Comelec


Puppet presidency


Climate: Ghost of Copenhagen stalks Cancun


When the military takes the cake


Something’s moving out there


Assange hunt appears to have ‘political motivations’


Changing climate alters age-old habits of Mexico community 

Changing climate alters age-old habits of Mexico communityFEATURE 12/07/2010

Changing climate alters age-old habits of Mexico community


TABI — Members of the Mayan community of Tabi, around 200 (120 miles) kilometers southwest of Cancun on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, say changes in the weather are forcing them to change their lives.

The dusty streets and modest homes of the community of some 400 persons do not suggest wealth, but the land’s bounty of corn, squash, beans and fruit made it a perfect place to raise a family.

That has changed since Eunice Be Chuc moved here, 28 years ago.

These days rain is increasingly unpredictable in a region where the wet season has come like clockwork since the times of the ancient Maya.

Now drought, floods and hurricanes alternate — extreme conditions that devastate crops.

“Even if you plant crops, the soil only gets drier with all the sun and if there is no water, how do we water it? So even if we are doing our part, if the soil doesn’t produce, what else can we do?” Be Chuc told AFP, looking across a parched field..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

 URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101207com7.html

Reds, Gringo in Noynoy’s amnesty list By Angie M. Rosales and Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/07/2010


Reds, Gringo in Noynoy’s amnesty list

By Angie M. Rosales and Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/07/2010

President Aquino and his Palace boys did it again — committing yet another big blunder and cementing further the perception that Aquino’s government is being run no differently from a student council government.

They listed as beneficiaries of the Amnesty proclamation Sen. Gregorio Honasan as well as communist rebels, all of whom are supposed to have been involved in the Oakwood Mutiny as well as the February Edsa coup bid, along with the Marines’ stand-off in Fort Bonifacio.

Due to this blunder, the approval at the committee level of the Palace’s amended proclamation granting amnesty to mutineers during the Arroyo administration, hit another snag after senators noted a highly flawed list of recipients.

Senators were astounded to come across the name of their colleague, Senator Honasan, listed as a possible beneficiary, along with civil society leader, Pastor Boy Saycon of the Council for Philippine Affairs (Copa), former Ambassador Roy Señeres and some members of the communist groups..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101207hed1.html

DoJ: Info being leaked for Ping to evade arrest By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/07/2010

DoJ: Info being leaked for Ping to evade arrest

By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/07/2010

The Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday admitted the big probability of information on the fugitive lawmaker regarding his whereabouts and the dates the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) special task force hunt him down, are being leaked to fugitive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.

A DoJ official said this may be the reason Lacson has been succeeding in avoiding arrest.

Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III pointed out that the possibility of the information on the arrest of Lacson being leaked cannot be discounted.

Baraan said it is highly probable that Lacson always manages to elude arrest, also because he is a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), and such, the capability of the fugitive senator cannot be underestimated because of his knowledge on intelligence and counter police operations.

It could also be, Baraan said, that one of those hunting down Lacson is the person who leaks the information to the senator..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101207hed2.html

SC plays coy as judges hold nationwide protest By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/07/2010

SC plays coy as judges hold nationwide protest

By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/07/2010

Black armbands were the fad among judges throughout the country yesterday as a show of protest over the slashed budget of the judiciary for next year with the Supreme Court (SC) disowning the mass action spearheaded by the Philippine Judges Association (PJA).

Speaking to newsmen, Gleoresty Guerra, acting chief of the SC’s Public Information Office, said the PJA members acted on their own. “This (protest) hasn’t passed the Supreme Court and this is not sanctioned by the Court. This is a purely voluntary and spontaneous action on their part,” Chief Justice Renato Corona was quoted as saying by Guerra.

“He (Corona) just said that he was aware of this when he got a text message that such an action was being planned by the lower court judges, but they did not ask for leave from the Court,” Guerra stressed.

PJA members are protesting the P14.3-billion budget received by the judicial department for next year. Manila regional trial court Judge Antonio Eugenio, president of PJA, said all 700 members of the organization participated in the protest..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101207hed3.html

Palace apes GMA, demands proof on Ping coddling By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/07/2010

Palace apes GMA, demands proof on Ping coddling

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/07/2010
They condemned it during then President Gloria Arroyo’s time in Malacañang, but now that they occupy the same Palace, they now sing the same song she sang, whenever allegations were leveled against the President and his Cabinet members: Show the proof.

Reacting to accusations made by a lawyer of a state witness in the Dacer-Corbito twin murders that Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo is coddling fugitive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Malacañang yesterday dared Ferdinand Topacio, counsel of former Police officer Cesar Mancao, to come up with evidence that Robredo is protecting Lacson.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Topacio should back up his charge that Robredo has been shielding Lacson from arrest.

A day earlier, in a TV interview, Topacio alleged that Robredo has been “protecting” Lacson after the Local Government chief refused to put up a P2-million reward for the arrest of the senator.

Under the law, Lacierda said that the burden of proof would be on Topacio to prove his allegations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101207hed4.html

Senate subpoenas Globe Asiatique exec in housing probe 12/07/2010

Senate subpoenas Globe Asiatique exec in housing probe

The “right to remain silent” of one of the key players in the multibillion-peso housing mess involving the Pag-IBIG Fund will not work as far as the Senate is concerned.

The Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies yesterday issued a subpoena ad testificandum against Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. president Delfin Lee, ordering him to appear and testify before the panel on the resumption of its inquiry on Dec. 9.

Failure to comply will cite Lee in contempt, it was gathered yesterday.

“You are hereby commanded to appear and testify under oath in the public hearing of the Senate committee on banks joint with the committee on urban planning, housing and resettlement,” Sen. Sergio Osmeña III, banks committee chairman said in the signed order duly-approved by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Lee, through his counsel, the Fortun Narvasa and Salazar law firm, earlier sent a letter to Osmeña saying he would not attend the previous hearing, claiming that “because of the pendency of the criminal case for syndicated estafa recently filed by Pag-IBIG and the National Bureau of Investigation against him, he (Lee) has no option but to refrain from speaking further on the issue and simply answer the accusations against him before the Department of Justice.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101207hed5.html

Tourism department bares forming of tourist police By Paolo Sangil 12/07/2010

Tourism department bares forming of tourist police

By Paolo Sangil 12/07/2010

A task force that was formed by the Department of Tourism (DoT) in tie-up with the Philippine National Police (PNP) will start doing its rounds in Rizal Park tomorrow.

The National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) along with the Manila Police District (MPD) spearheaded the forming of the Rizal Park Tourist Security Force (RPTSF). The law enforcers that will be assigned to the task force will come from the Luneta Police Community of Station 5.

“The primary concern of this task force is to strengthen the security measures in Rizal Park especially this Christmas Season,” said NPDC executive director Juliet Villegas.

The task force is comprised of MPD law enforcers, guards from an NPDC-hired security agency, NPDC maintenance and a barangay-effort community auxiliary brigade. There will be around 50 task force members who will be doing rounds in three shifts a day.

Four CCTV cameras are already existing but there will be more unit installations as NPDC is now coordinating with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101207nat5.html

Robredo blamed for illegal election of barangay chieftains By Gerry Baldo 12/07/2010

Robredo blamed for illegal election of barangay chieftains

By Gerry Baldo 12/07/2010

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo should be blamed for the election of barangay captains who have exceeded the three-terms allowed by law.

According to Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, the DILG chief should have prevented the over-staying barangay captains from running for another term if it knows who among the reelectionist barangay captains are running beyond the limits stipulated by law.

Barzaga, chairman of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms, said that Robredo should file appropriate charges against the barangay officials who have violated their term limits by running for a fourth term. They knew that it is against the law to run for a fourth term, Barzaga said.

“It is the responsibility of the DILG to take the appropriate legal actions including the filing of criminal and administrative charges. The DILG under existing laws can even preventively suspend these erring multi-termers pending adjudication of the criminal and administrative charges against them,” said Barzaga..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101207nat1.html

Noy, Binay, JPE get high approval ratings—Pulse Asia 12/07/2010

Noy, Binay, JPE get high approval ratings—Pulse Asia

President Aquino, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile garnered majority approval ratings in the latest survey of Pulse Asia.

The Chief Executive registered 79 percent performance rating followed closely by Binay with 78 percent and Enrile who got 61 percent, the October 20-29 2010 survey showed.

The country’s top three officials also recorded single-digit disapproval scores. Both Aquino and Binay with 3 percent while Enrile, 8 percent.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. garnered almost the same percentages of Filipinos who expressed their approval (45 percent) and indecision (43 percent) while Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona received a 35 percent approval rating. He also registered 18 percent public disapproval.

Between July and October 2010, public indecision toward the performance of Enrile becomes more manifest (+9 percentage points) while marginal changes in his approval and disapproval ratings may be observed (-3 and -5 percentage points, respectively).

“Enrile is the only one among the country’s top national government officials with comparative performance ratings for the period July to October 2010. While President Aquino was also performance-rated in July 2010, he was assessed as a senator and not yet as President,” Pulse Asia said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101207hed6.html

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