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Posts Tagged ‘Malacañang’

Smartmatic says flash cards 100% ‘tamper-proof’

Posted by akosistella on May 22, 2010


MANILA, Philippines – Voting machine vendor Smartmatic on Friday stood by the integrity of the automated election system despite claims of fraud by lawmakers who lost their re-election bids in the May 10 elections.

Cesar Flores, Smartmatic Asia-Pacific president, maintained that the compact flash cards for the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines could not be tampered even if they are stolen and someone tries to replace its data with fake election results.

“Everything is encrypted with 108 encryption, which is used by banks to scramble data. If they try to access the data, they cannot because it’s scrambled. If you take the card, you won’t be able to read it,” the Smartmatic executive said during the House of Representatives hearing on the alleged election cheating

via ABS-CBN News Online Beta.


PPCRV uncovers apparent fraud in Basilan

Malacañang behind poll fraud claim-Locsin


Comelec says losing bet behind ‘Robin’

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) believes a defeated presidential candidate is behind alleged whistleblower “Robin”, the masked man who claimed he was involved in massive fraud in the May 10 automated elections.

“Robin”, whose masked appearance has been likened to a koala bear, revealed a massive electronic cheating operation using alleged authentic ballots and “player” precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to rig the May 10 election tally.

According to Robin, their group has copies of the 15 million original ballots, and they transmitted their results to the Comelec server before the actual PCOS machines in use in precincts and canvassing centers transmitted the results.

Via ABS-CBN News


Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, News, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jockeying for Cabinet posts starts

Posted by akosistella on May 17, 2010


MANILA, Philippines – The jockeying for Cabinet posts in the next administration has started.

Florencio “Butch” Abad, the Liberal Party’s (LP) campaign manager, told ABS-CBN News on Sunday that he has received over a hundred text messages and emails from people asking they be considered for Cabinet positions in the Aquino administration.

Though LP standard-bearer Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino has not yet been proclaimed as the next president, he is ahead of his rival, former president Joseph Estrada, in the partial vote count.

via ABS-CBN News Online Beta.

ALSO READ: Miriam tells Kris to stay away from politics

No political honeymoon period with Aquino—Left

LUCENA CITY, Quezon, Philippines—Leftist groups would not observe the traditional honeymoon period with apparent president-elect Senator Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III. Instead, they vowed that the incoming administration will be met with a stream of demands and protests.

This was the statement of the militant fisher folk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) issued Sunday.

“There’s no honeymoon. The total political exposition of and opposition to Aquino and the newly installed ruling Mafia in Malacanang is the top order of the day,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said.

Via Inquirer.net

Posted in 2010 elections, News, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Aquino vows justice for murdered LP ally

Posted by akosistella on May 15, 2010


TARLAC CITY—Apparent President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said that he would pursue justice for a murdered friend and chief of staff of a Liberal Party leader who was gunned down by policemen in a Cavite town on Election Day.

Aquino, together with his running mate Sen. Manuel Araneta “Mar” Roxas II, went to Enriquez Funeral Chapel in this city at 11 a.m. to condole with relatives and friends of retired Col. Arnulfo Obillos, the chief of staff of former Congressman Plaridel Abaya.

Bacoor gunfight

Obillos, a resident of this province, along with another Abaya bodyguard, Sgt. Juanito Paraiso, were killed when police in Bacoor, Cavite, opened fire at them as they accompanied Abaya to the town police station to complain about alleged harassment of Abaya supporters.

via INQUIRER.net.


Noynoy open to LP-NP House alliance vs GMA

MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said yesterday he is open to an alliance with the Nacionalista Party (NP) of rival Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. in the House of Representatives for as “long as it would be for the good of the nation.”

Outgoing Quezon City Mayor Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. also said that an alliance between the two parties is “possible” to be able to come up with a majority to support his bid for speaker of the House of Representatives.

Belmonte is expected to be pitted against President Arroyo in the battle for the speaker’s post. Malacañang said the President has an “advantage” in the contest.

Via Phil. Star

Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, News, Philippine politics, Regions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Arroyo likely to gun for House speaker post, says Iggy

Posted by akosistella on May 12, 2010


Outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is likely target the House Speakership when the new Congress opens in July, her lawmaker brother-in-law said Tuesday night.

Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio (Iggy) Arroyo Jr. said Mrs. Arroyo has enough allies to get her the top post in the House of Representatives.

“Yes, I think she would,” Arroyo, who was proclaimed winner of the congressional race for the fifth district of Negros Occidental, said when asked if Mrs. Arroyo will go for the Speaker’s post.

via GMANews.TV.


Palace: Arroyo may be RP’s 1st woman House Speaker

MANILA, Philippines – While this is not a novel notion for many, it’s the first time Malacañan itself is actually acknowledging the possibility President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may become the country’s first female speaker of the House of Representatives once she steps down from the presidency.

Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza said on Wednesday the president has a lot to share the next administration in her new role in government.

Via ABS-CBN News

AND: Arroyo proclaimed as Pampanga congressman

Posted in 2010 elections, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, News, Philippine politics, Regions | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Palace: No meetings for ‘No-El,’ only on security

Posted by akosistella on May 7, 2010


MANILA, Philippines—The “no-election” scenario was never on the Palace menu.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been meeting with top security officials because of her concern about unrest arising from the May 10 polls. A failure of elections was never discussed in any of the meetings, Malacañang claimed Thursday.

“This whole idea of ‘no elections’ is, just to quote the cardinal, ‘crazy, crazy, crazy and irresponsible,’” Secretary Ricardo Saludo, Ms Arroyo’s spokesperson, said in a briefing. (He was quoting Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales’ reaction early this week to a warning of “people power” by Liberal Party standard-bearer Benigno Aquino III.)

via INQUIRER.net.

Posted in 2010 elections, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, News, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Editorials and analysis

Posted by akosistella on May 7, 2010


Malaya editorial: An untested system?

YESTERDAY’S Supreme Court directive to the Commission on Elections to disclose the results of the independent review of the programming of the automated election system could shred whatever remaining credibility the election body has. Whether the credibility of the Monday’s elections would also be shattered – as that of the Comelec potentially would – is logically the next question.

Via Malaya

Phil. Star: About-face

After several weeks of being pilloried in public for exonerating two members of the Ampatuan clan for the Maguindanao massacre, Justice Secretary Alberto Agra reversed his own resolution this week. Explaining the reversal, Agra cited the surfacing of another witness, who corroborated the story of a clan conspiracy that led to the killing of 57 people on Nov. 23 last year.

Via Phil. Star

Inquirer: 30 percent not enough

THE INITIAL REPORTS FROM THE PARTIAL resumption of the field testing of the voting machines, this time with the new compact flash memory cards, seem positive. For instance, one precinct in Parañaque City on Thursday yielded “perfect” results, while another one managed to do so after a computer technician restarted the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine. But these results are an outright plus only in contrast to the spectacular failure of all voting machines tested last Monday. That the tests are resuming mere days before the elections remains a matter of great public concern.

Via Inquirer

Daily Tribune: Works of evil

A string of disturbing events has occurred the last few days that points to what every Filipino earlier believed in the back of his mind will not happen on Monday, the national elections.

Yesterday, Gloria convened the Cabinet to take up the no elections scenario supposedly as a consequence of glitches in the memory cards of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines

Via Daily Tribune

Political dynamite
Analysis By Amando Doronila

THE MOST UNSETTLING DEVELOPMENT THAT occurred barely a week before the election was the crude announcement of President Macapagal-Arroyo’s election lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, seeking postponement of the May election for 15 days as a step to avert a failure of elections.

Via Inquirer.net

Posted in 2010 elections | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Aquino pads poll lead-BWorld/SWS survey

Posted by akosistella on May 7, 2010


•Gap now 22 points; Estrada overtakes Villar

WITH THE MAY 10 elections just around the corner, Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino III has picked up steam to widen his lead in the presidential race, results of the final BusinessWorld-Social Weather Stations (BW-SWS) Pre-Election survey showed.

The May 2-3 poll, conducted roughly a week before Filipinos troop to the precincts, gave Mr. Aquino the support of 42%, up four points and ahead of former President Joseph “Erap” E. Estrada of the Pwersa ng Masa who was now in second place with three-point gain to 20%.

Erstwhile second-placer Sen. Manuel “Manny” B. Villar, Jr. of the Nationalista Party (NP) was a point behind at 19%, a result within the survey’s error margin of 2.2%. His support was down seven points from the prior BW-SWS poll of April 16-19.

via BusinessWorld Online.

Down to the wire VP race as Binay, Roxas share lead

MAKATI MAYOR Jejomar “Jojo” C. Binay has caught up with Sen. Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas in the vice-presidential race, tying with the former solo frontrunner in the final edition of the BusinessWorld-Social Weather Stations (SWS) Pre-Election Survey.

Both scored 37% in the May 2-3 poll, conducted roughly a week before the elections, but SWS said it was mentioning Mr. Binay’s name first in announcing the results “because the survey gave him a 0.2 point lead over [Mr. Roxas].”

The Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino bet has seen a resurgence in the surveys, first eking out a one-point lead versus erstwhile second-placer Sen. Loren Legarda in the last poll and now gaining 12 to tie with Mr. Roxas.”

VIa BusinessWorld

Last Senate slot up for grabs?

JUST ONE SLOT in the “Magic 12” senatorial race appears up for dispute, with recognized politicians — most of them incumbents and former senators — bolstering their hold in the rankings, results of the final BusinessWorld-Social Weather Stations (SWS) Pre-Election Survey showed.

The top two were described by the SWS as “well ahead” and next nine “clearly above the 12th place”. The first three, the independent survey research organization said, have consistently been on top since a March poll, while the first 10 have always been in the winning circle since early December.

In first and second, with just a point separating them, were reelectionists Senator Ramon “Bong” B. Revilla, Jr. of the administration Lakas-Kampi-CMD (51%) and Jose “Jinggoy” E. Estrada of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino or PMP (50%). Both lost three points each from the previous survey of April 16-19.

Via BusinessWorld


(Updated) SC nullifies NP-NPC coalition

The Supreme Court has nullified the coalition of the Nacionalista Party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NP-NPC) due to the failure of the two parties to submit the necessary requirements.

In a 29-page decision penned by Associate Justice Arturo Brion, the court overturned a Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruling recognizing the NP-NPC merger as a bona fide coalition.

The coalition, along with the Liberal Party (LP) and the Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino, are all vying for the Comelec’s nod to become the dominant minority party that will be entitled to the sixth copy of the election returns (ERs) and a server showing the election results as they are transmitted on the May 10 automated elections.

Via GMANews.TV

Religious groups’ endorsements may come with a price, analysts say

In the homestretch to the May 10 elections, religious groups Iglesia ni Cristo and Kingdom of Jesus Christ have declared the presidential candidate they are backing. This weekend, the El Shaddai movement is set to announce who it will endorse.

Iglesia ni Cristo has picked Sen. Benigno Aquino III while KJC leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy has endorsed administration bet Gilberto Teodoro Jr. The El Shaddai is perceived to be supporting Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. because of his close ties with the group’s leader, Mariano “Mike” Velarde.

Religious groups said they choose their presidential bets because of their competence and moral credibility.

via GMANews.TV.

Palace says Macalintal resignation was his own doing

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Thursday squelched speculation that President Macapagal-Arroyo compelled her election lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, to quit over his call to defer the presidential elections.

“He was the one who asked to resign because his position is not in line with the Palace position,” Secretary Ricardo Saludo said in reply to questions about whether Macalintal was forced to resign.

Malacañang on Wednesday night issued a press statement that it had accepted Macalintal’s offer to resign.

Via Inquirer.net

Posted in 2010 elections, Gilbert Teodoro, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Joseph Estrada, Manny Villar, MAR Roxas, News, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics, Survey | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SC to Comelec: Disclose automation preparations fully

Posted by akosistella on May 7, 2010


MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disclose to the public important details regarding the technical aspects of the preparations it made for the May 10 automated nationwide elections.

According to a court press release, the court En Banc issued the decision in the light of “alarming details in the run-up” to the elections.

In a resolution penned by Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio, the Court directed the Comelec to disclose the following information to the public within 2 days upon receving its copy of the resolution:

Via ABS-CBN News


Vote-counting may be delayed in some areas, Comelec says

(Update 2 – 4:37 PM) Counting of votes in 5 percent of areas in the country — including Maguindanao, the site of a massacre last year — may be delayed by at least one day because compact flash cards to be used for poll machines may possibly arrive late, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Thursday.

“At worst,” counting and transmission of more than three million votes will be conducted on May 11 — a day after the elections — since the cards for the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in some areas may be delivered only on that date, Comelec chairman Jose Melo said.

“That is the worst scenario… there would still be precincts in very, very remote areas without the flash cards having been delivered and tested,” Melo said during a press briefing on Thursday.

via GMANews.TV.


DepEd exec laments absence of guidelines on manual counting

MANILA, Philippines—Over 200,000 teachers taking part in the electoral process are apprehensive about glitches in the automated counting of votes, but are ready for anything, an education official said Thursday.

The 229,020 teachers to be deployed for Monday’s elections as part of the board of election inspectors did not anticipate the foul-ups in the trial runs of the testing and sealing of the voting tally machines in Luzon.

“We did not anticipate these glitches,” Education Undersecretary Franklin Sunga said at a Malacañang news briefing. “Definitely the apprehensions will be there.”

Via Inquirer.net

Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, News, Philippine politics, Regions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Business groups oppose election postponement

Posted by akosistella on May 7, 2010


MANILA, Philippines — Business groups are staunchly opposing even the notion of postponing the national elections, saying any delay will just provide “new opportunities for mischief.’’

In a statement, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, and Philippine Bar Association said there was no assurance that postponing the elections would correct whatever errors needed correcting at this point.

If anything, a delay would just create more uncertainty and possibly more chances to do some hocus pocus, the businessmen warned.

via INQUIRER.net.

ALSO READ: SC to tackle petitions to stop polls Friday


Roxas bares pressure to postpone elections

Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II Wednesday said he had received reports that “high-ranking officials both from the (ruling) political (party) and the Executive” had called Comelec officials to pressure them to postpone Monday’s elections.

In a press conference, Roxas urged Comelec officials to keep a record of the alleged phone calls so that these Palace officials could be exposed.

“Information coming from our sources in the Comelec show that high-ranking officials from Malacañang are calling Comelec commissioners to influence their deliberations on whether the elections should be postponed,” he added.

Via Inquirer.net

Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, MAR Roxas, News, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

‘Noynoy kin, allies behind Pulse, SWS’

Posted by akosistella on May 6, 2010


MANILA, Philippines – Relatives and close associates of Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino are directing behind the scenes the surveys being conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia, according to Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) senatorial candidate Francisco “Kit” Tatad.

Tatad, citing a research paper and documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said members of the Aquino clan and former associates of the late President Corazon Aquino are directors and stockholders of SWS and Pulse Asia.

Among those named in the SEC documents and research papers were Rafael Cojuangco Lopa and Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco.

via Philippine Star.


Villar featured in Forbes Asia Magazine

MANILA, Philippines – If elected president, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr. will be the first businessman elected into the highest office in the land.

Forbes Asia magazine recently ran a story on Villar’s candidacy, his struggle out of poverty, and his promise to apply a business management style of governance when elected president.

Last year, Villar ranked ninth on the Forbes list of the Philippines’ 40 Richest, having a net worth of $530 million.

Via Phil. Star


Noli says PGMA has contingency plans but won’t tell

MANILA, Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo already has a contingency plan in mind in case the problems over the automation of the elections escalate, according to Vice President Noli de Castro.

De Castro was asked if the President is thinking of contingency plans considering the latest developments in the automation project. He said: “I think may naisip si Presidente na contingency kahapon. May pinag-uusapan na rin sila na contingency measures. I’m just not privy to tell you.”

De Castro said the President is worried over the latest developments in the automation project, but her hands are tied by law since the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is in charge of the elections.

Via ABS-CBN News

Chaos hatched to disrupt May 10 polls – Binay

MANILA, Philippines – Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay claimed yesterday that Malacañang has hatched a scenario of chaos to disrupt the May 10 elections and extend President Arroyo’s hold on power.

Binay, running mate of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino presidential bet former President Joseph Estrada, said the scenario is part of a “grand scheme” that is certain to be exploited by the Arroyo administration.

“There is an engineered chaos. Nothing happens by accident under the Arroyo administration. These very disturbing developments point to a carefully laid out plan to create chaos at the polls on May 10 that could lead to a failure of elections,” Binay said.

Via Phil. Star

Posted in 2010 elections, Manny Villar, News, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PCOS glitches part of ‘Oplan Rafael’ to keep Arroyo in power

Posted by akosistella on May 6, 2010


Militant group Bayan Muna on Wednesday said that the malfunctioning of the voting machines to be used in next week’s polls is part of some master plan to postpone the elections and retain President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as head of state.

“There is no longer denying the signs that Macapagal-Arroyo is orchestrating moves to ensure that the May 10 polls will fail,” said senatorial aspirant and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo during a press briefing in Intramuros, Manila.

Calling the plan Retain Arroyo through Failure of Elections (Oplan Rafael), he cited supposedly ominous signs like Defense chief Norberto Gonzales’ reported warning about a failure of elections and the Comelec’s “unresolved” automation problems.

via GMANews.TV.


Arroyo election lawyer resigns over poll deferment dispute

MANILA, Philippines – The long-time election lawyer of President Arroyo has resigned over a dispute with Malacañang on the timing of elections given the new technical glitches that cropped up a week before the May 10 polls.

President Arroyo on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Romulo B. Macalintal as her election lawyer.

“The President has acceeded to Atty. Macalintal’s request,” Malacañang said in a statement Wednesday evening.

Via ABS-CBN News

Roxas nixes poll postponement

MANILA, Philippines—Liberal Party vice-presidential candidate Sen. Mar Roxas urged the Commission on Elections on Wednesday to push through with the elections on May 10 as he called on the poll body to prepare for a manual count of votes should the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines fail again.

Roxas said that the Comelec should prepare for a manual count because the reconfiguration of the compact flash cards for 76,000 PCOS machines was a “logistical nightmare” and it might be impossible to finish before Election Day.

“The May 10 elections should push through because postponing it would become a slippery slope. Who knows when it would eventually be held if postponed? After one week? One month? In effect, it would be No-el (no elections). If it’s not on May 10, we would have No-El,” Roxas said in an interview.

Via Inquirer.net

Villar opposes poll deferment as Senate bets seek Comelec transparency

Nacionalista Party standard bearer Senator Manuel Villar Jr. on Wednesday opposed the proposed postponement of the elections.

At the same time, the party’s senatorial bets asked the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) to be transparent by convening all political parties and giving them a run through of what it will do on May 10.

“Nahihirapan na po ang mga kandidato. Talagang hinihintay na lamang nila ang election. Kung i-extend naman iyan, ewan ko kung papaano tatanggapin ng local officials,” Villar said in a phone-patched interview over DYHP-Cebu of the Radio Mindanao Network.

Via GMANews.TV

Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Manny Villar, MAR Roxas, News, Philippine politics, Regions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Smartmatic says it can reconfigure 3000 compact flash cards per hour

Posted by akosistella on May 5, 2010


IN a comment on IT expert and Manila Times Tech Times editor Jing Garcia’s Facebook page, Smartmatic Asia president Cesar Flores assured that compact flash cards from the PCOS machines could be speedily reconfigured.

“We currently have 75 [computer] stations set up (will increase to 120 tonight). Each stations configures 40 cf [cards] per hour. That’s a capacity of 3,000 [cards] an hour,” Flores said.

He made the statement in response to Garcia’s Facebook status questioning the length of time it takes to reconfigure CF cards using one computer. “In one hour, you can reformat/reconfigure at least 24 compact flash cards, or 576 cards in 24 hours. With one computer, it will take at least 131 days to do that on 76,000 CF cards. You’ll need at least 50 computers to reformat all in 2 days,” Garcia said.

Flores pointed out though that the issue is how to keep the flow of cards coming, “as only 18,000 were in the warehouse and the rest are being retrieved from the field, and 40,000 are coming tomorrow from Taiwan and Hong Kong.”

In a press conference at the Commission on Elections this afternoon, Flores said the reconfiguration of the CF cards will be done at Smartmatic’s Cabuyao plant. The CF cards were being blamed for the discrepancies which occurred when several PCOS machines were tested via mock polls Monday. The results showed several national and local candidates not garnering any votes despite the proper shading of their names on the mock ballots.

Smartmatic needs to reconfigure about 76,000 CF cards before returning them to the polling precints where the PCOS machines will be delivered. (SFA/pulitika2010.wordpress.com)


Automated polls to proceed as scheduled, Comelec assures

(Update 3:53 PM) The Philippines’ first nationwide automated polls will proceed as scheduled, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Wednesday, allaying fears of poll failure after voting machines suffered from glitches.

There is no truth to text messages indicating that elections will be postponed for at least two weeks, Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal told reporters on Wednesday.

The poll body “has not voted on any postponement,” he said.

The commissioner issued the statement after administration lawyer Romulo Macalintal suggested that the Comelec defer the elections by at least 15 days because of recent glitches discovered with the automated voting system.



AND: Palace backpedals on option to postpone poll

Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, News, Philippine politics, Regions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

APO, gov’t press, printing campaign materials for bets

Posted by akosistella on May 5, 2010



Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

THE ELECTION Code is clear: Any printing press owned or controlled by the government is prohibited from being used in any election campaign or partisan political activity.

The penalties for officials of such an entity caught in violation of the law range from one to six years jail term without probation, along with disqualification from public office and forfeiture of the right of suffrage.

But some officials of the APO Production Unit, Inc., which is under the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), say the company is “private” and is therefore free to print campaign materials for one of its board members who is among the candidates for local office on May 10, as well as for the son and a brother of two other company officers.

This is even though the company has been shuffled from one government agency to another through the years, seems to have become a dumping ground for protégés of people close to Malacañang, and has its books pored over from time to time by the state bean-counter, the Commission on Audit (COA).

Its corporate policy-makers and officers also acquire their positions through a “desire letter” from the president of the Philippines.

via Business Insight Malaya.

Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, News, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Comelec exec tagged in secrecy folder deal – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Posted by akosistella on April 26, 2010


Lawyer says directive to suspend bidding defied

MANILA, Philippines—The winning bidder in the scuttled purchase by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of ballot secrecy folders bagged a contract in 2008 after an election executive allegedly defied a directive of the poll body to postpone the bidding, a Comelec official said.

Lawyer Melchor Magdamo, who is assigned to the office of Comelec Chair Jose Melo, made the statement in an affidavit he submitted to a panel investigating the earlier decision to buy from OTC Paper Supply 1.8 million ballot secrecy folders at P380 each, a deal worth nearly P700 million.

The secrecy folder deal has since been junked, but the poll body has decided to probe the circumstances leading to its decision to buy the “extravagant” folders.

via INQUIRER.net.


Palace defends Comelec on folder issue

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Saturday came out in defense of the Commission on Elections which is getting weighed down by controversies arising from its preparations for the country’s first nationwide automated elections in May.

“If there’s any anomaly about these folders, this is now being investigated. Not a single cent has been paid for this contract,” Gary Olivar, deputy presidential spokesperson, said over government-run dzRB.

Olivar said he had spoken with Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento on several matters, including this, by phone.

via Inquirer.net


Evidence in poll exec’s graft case challenged

MANILA, Philippines – Government prosecutors have objected to the admission into the record of several documentary evidence in the graft case filed against former poll commissioner Luzviminda Tancangco in connection with the P6.59 billion Voters Registration and Identification System (VRIS) project of 2000.

In a 12-page comment, Prosecution Bureau I acting director Raymundo Julio A. Olaguer and assistant special prosecutor III Julieta Zinnia A. Niduaza and Judith Antonina R. Boco-Mate challenged the admissibility of Tancangco’s evidence on the grounds of failure to identify them during trial and for being immaterial and irrelevant.

Tancangco, former head of the Comelec’s bidding and awards committee, is accused of favoring Photokina Marketing Corp. in the bidding for the P6.59 billion VRIS project.

via ABS-CBN News

Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, News, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Agra may reconsider after witness emerges — Palace

Posted by akosistella on April 26, 2010


The emergence of a new witness linking two Ampatuan clan members to the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao last November 23 may prompt acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra to reconsider his order clearing them of the murder charges, Malacañang said on Sunday.

Deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar said Agra had kept an open mind on the matter, to the point of setting up a committee to review his ruling.

“That may be new evidence. People should expect Secretary Agra to consider [the evidence] during the review,” Olivar said on government-run dzRB radio.

via GMANews.TV.


Agra resignation calls mount

MANILA, Philippines – Two administration senatorial candidates have joined calls for the resignation of Justice Secretary Alberto Agra, saying his clearing of two members of the Ampatuan clan in last year’s Maguindanao massacre has cast doubts on his credibility as justice chief.

Former justice secretary Silvestre Bello III and broadcaster Rey Langit, Lakas-Kampi-CMD senatorial candidates, said Agra gained “public distrust” because of his move clearing Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao and Maguindanao Vice Gov. Akmad Ampatuan in the massacre of 57 people, including 32 journalists and two lawyers.
“This is just my personal thought, but I hope Secretary Agra will consider it because of the public outcry against his decision clearing the Ampatuans,” Bello said.

via Phil. Star

AND: Bacolod media hold torch march to press for Agra resignation

SO why is Malacañang speaking on behalf of Secretary Agra? Thought it didn’t have anything to do w/ Agra’s decision dismissing the charges against Zaldy and Akmad Ampatuan? Hmmm…

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