From the columnists
Posted by akosistella on April 24, 2010
Ghost precincts, ghost votes
FRONTLINE By Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Ghost precincts certainly exist, and it would do no good for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to deny this, especially as it was Smartmatic and its site surveyors that came out with this report of non-existent polling precincts.
It stands to reason that, since it is Smartmatic that has been contracted — said at an additiona cost of half a billion pesos — by the Comelec for it to deliver the ballots in all these precincts, the list of precincts came from no one else but the poll body itself, and when these sites were surveyed, these precincts were not found. And if not found as listed, they are clearly non-existent, and therefore are ghost precincts.
But Comelec, through its spokesman, James Jimenez, quickly said that this claim of ghost precincts in the country and even in Metro Manila, was absolutely false, despite the fact that Smartmatic surveyors failed to locate 57 polling centers that are school sites-based.
via The Daily Tribune.
Modern governance and the Constitution
PUBLIC LIVES By Randy David
THE MOST IMPORTANT TESTAMENT TO OUR aspiration to be a modern democratic state is the Constitution no less. Although some of its formulations may sound traditionally moralistic, one cannot fail to detect in all its basic provisions the unequivocal commitment to modern values such as equality before the law, separation of powers, supremacy of civilian authority, a professional bureaucracy, accountability of public officials, separation of church and state, the autonomy of the family, etc. We tend to take these things for granted as conventional to all constitutions, but, in fact, there is a whole coherent philosophy underpinning them. It is a philosophy of modernity, whose logic we are beginning to understand only now.
Thanks to some of the issues being brought to public attention during this political season, Filipinos are acquiring a better sense of the whys and wherefores of these constitutional values. The only downside to this is that since they are being raised in the context of the electoral campaign, these issues are liable to be dismissed as nothing but symptoms of politicking.
Click Randy David
Hunger and poverty are different
SOCIAL CLIMATE By Mahar Mangahas
LAST WEEK’S SWS REPORT that the proportion of families rating themselves as mahirap or poor in its national survey of March 2010 had matched the previous record-low 43 percent in March 1987 was immediately touted by government spokespersons as part of the “legacy” of President Macapagal-Arroyo, as she nears the end of her term.
On the other hand, the accompanying SWS report, from the same survey, that 21.2 percent had suffered hunger involuntarily (due to having nothing to eat) sometime in the previous three months—the fourth-highest hunger incidence in 49 surveys from mid-1998 to the present—was glossed over.
Click Mahar Mangahas