Thursday, September 3, 2015

Church urges Marinduque government to pursue class suit in Canada

Marinduque gov’t urged to sue mine firm


CATHOLIC prelates have joined calls by civil society groups to urge the provincial government of Marinduque to pursue a multimillion dollar class suit against a global mining firm over the 1996 Marcopper spill.

Local pressure for the Marinduque government to refile the case mounted after the Nevada state Supreme Court on June 11 threw out the case against the Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp.

In a copy of its 13-page ruling, the US state high court upheld the February 2011 decision of the Nevada district court to dismiss the case for “forum non conveniens,” meaning the United States was a wrong jurisdiction to hear the case.

It said the case “lacks any bona fide connection to this state, adequate alternative fora exist, and the burdens of litigating here outweigh any convenience to the province (Marinduque).”

The US courts believed a judgment “could be more readily enforced against Barrick in Canada than in Nevada” since the company was incorporated and based there.

The Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (Macec) slammed the provincial government’s slow action to pursue the case in Canada.

“It’s been two months (since the Nevada ruling) yet there seems to be no movement at all, not even talks (in the Marinduque government),” said Macec executive director Elizabeth Manggol in a phone interview on Friday.

Chancery of the Diocese of Boac

The Marinduque provincial government filed in October 2005 in the Nevada district court a $100-million class suit against Placer Dome Inc. The Vancouver-based Placer Dome, later absorbed by Barrick Gold, was the parent company of Marcopper Mining Corp. that was responsible for the mine tailing spill on the province tagged the Philippines’ worst mining tragedy.

Barrick Gold offered a $20-million settlement but the Marinduque provincial council in 2014 turned down the amount, which it felt was not enough to compensate the damages to the province.

The Catholic Church has stepped in, as environmentalist groups lobby for the Marinduque council to pursue the case in Canada.

In an August 10 circular, Boac Bishop Marcelino Antonio M. Maralit Jr. enjoined the faithful in praying for “environmental justice” through the inclusion of two petitions in all Eucharistic celebrations. These intercessory prayers were for Marinduque to be declared a mining-free province and for the provincial government to have enough strength and inspiration in pursuing the case against Marcopper, Placer Dome and Barrick Gold.

In a separate phone interview, Marinduque Vice Gov. Romulo Bacorro Jr. said the province’s executive and legislative bodies had yet to meet with Marinduque’s legal team to finalize its next move regarding the case.

But pursuing the case in a new forum “is not that easy” as it involves “millions of dollars” for the litigation fees, he said. - Maricar Cinco, Inquirer

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Societal collapse: Meaning, the Philippines' future has been written too?


"So, the future “has been written” by the masters of the universe, reported on by Dr. Roberts, and has now entered the collective consciousness of a huge number of people. Whether the motivator is religion, science, economics, philosophy, government, or all of the above; the experts and the commoners alike see it coming, therefore it shall be. And most importantly, the powers-that-be require this rough road in America to pave their global agenda through."

Dare To Prepare: Collapse Of Civilization Now Guaranteed



Eric Blair
Activist Post
“It has been written” as the saying goes.  For many generations there have been small groups of people who have researched and protested the criminal nature of our rulers who cast their disease on civilization.  These activists screamed truth to the masses about humanity’s hidden slavery, yet few listened.
However, the injustices have now become too extreme, too obvious, that the truth has risen to near critical mass with the independent-minded population.  And indeed many more sheep, who unknowingly fund their own prison, are waking up by the minute.
But can this mass awakening prevent our civilization from collapsing during this detonation period? Sorry folks, the answer is no.  Because even if “The Resistance” is successful in swiftly overtaking the controls of government and overturns the Federal Reserve, the dominoes set in motion by the corporate rulers are still likely to fall as they still control the food, the oil, and the heavy weapons. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve will fight it out to the death, and they have the power to simply shut everything down with a flick of the switch.

The excellent story last week by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of Treasury under Reagan, called “The Year America Dissolved” dramatically describes the breakdown of civilization playing out in America:

It was 2017. Clans were governing America.
The first clans organized around local police forces. The conservatives’ war on crime during the late 20th century and the Bush/Obama war on terror during the first decade of the 21st century had resulted in the police becoming militarized and unaccountable.
As society broke down, the police became warlords. The state police broke apart, and the officers were subsumed into the local forces of their communities. The newly formed tribes expanded to encompass the relatives and friends of the police.
With the dollar’s demise, import prices skyrocketed. As Americans were unable to afford foreign-made goods, the transnational corporations that were producing offshore for US markets were bankrupted, further eroding the government’s revenue base.
The government was forced to print money in order to pay its bills, causing domestic prices to rise rapidly.  Faced with hyperinflation, Washington took recourse in terminating Social Security and Medicare and followed up by confiscating the remnants of private pensions. This provided a one-year respite, but with no more resources to confiscate, money creation and hyperinflation resumed.
Organized food deliveries broke down when the government fought hyperinflation with fixed prices and the mandate that all purchases and sales had to be in US paper currency. Unwilling to trade appreciating goods for depreciating paper, goods disappeared from stores.
In an interview about the article, Roberts said he tried for years to reach people with facts and figures and hoped some fictional reality would work better.  When asked if anything could be done to stop it, he responded “not at this rate.”  In addition to Roberts’ piece comes the elite Rockefeller Foundation’s analysis of the future of America.  They are strikingly similar in their tone and outcomes:

The years 2010 to 2020 were dubbed the ‘doom decade’ for good reason: the 2012 Olympic bombing, which killed 13,000, was followed closely by an earthquake in Indonesia killing 40,000, a tsunami that almost wiped out Nicaragua, and the onset of the West China Famine, caused by a once-in a-millennium drought linked to climate change…
Not surprisingly, this opening series of deadly asynchronous catastrophes (there were more) put enormous pressure on an already overstressed global economy that had entered the decade still in recession…prompting the Economist headline: ‘Is the Planet Finally Bankrupt?’
These dire circumstances forced tough tradeoffs. In 2015, the U.S. reallocated a large share of its defense spending to domestic concerns, pulling out of Afghanistan… Resource scarcities and trade disputes, together with severe economic and climate stresses, pushed many alliances and partnerships to the breaking point; they also sparked proxy wars and low-level conflict in resource-rich parts of the developing world. Nations raised trade barriers in order to protect their domestic sectors against imports and — in the face of global food and resource shortages — to reduce exports of agricultural produce and other commodities.
With government power weakened, order rapidly disintegrating, and safety nets evaporating, violence and crime grew more rampant. Countries with ethnic, religious, or class divisions saw especially sharp spikes in hostility.
So, the future “has been written” by the masters of the universe, reported on by Dr. Roberts, and has now entered the collective consciousness of a huge number of people. Whether the motivator is religion, science, economics, philosophy, government, or all of the above; the experts and the commoners alike see it coming, therefore it shall be. And most importantly, the powers-that-berequire this rough road in America to pave their global agenda through.
The collapse has even entered into the mainstream debate by default or by popular demand. Given the rapid growth of the the resistance movement on the Internet, the mainstream news outlets know exactly which articles are driving traffic to their respective websites, and it isn’t fluff pieces anymore. Sure we may look at a picture of Lindsay Lohan half-naked and wasted in some club while were on the Huffington Post, but that’s not what drove us there. The stories with the sharp fangs of truth and outrage are primarily running the show now and they are fully aware of it.
The Roberts and Rockefeller warnings of complete collapse are a few years out, although we are certainly experiencing the first dominoes falling.  It seems futile to try to stop the collapse, therefore the immediate focus should be on preparation.  Does that mean we should stop waking people up?  No, but we should encourage them to prepare now for a societal breakdown.
To the sheep who happened to stumble upon this radical little article and don’t think it can happen in America — picture your city as Detroit, but without Federal aid, food or fuel . . . and welcome to the new world order! - Activist Post

Wake me up when September ends

"Wake Me Up When September Ends"
Artist: Green Day




Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Like my father's come to pass
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Like my father's come to pass
Twenty years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends

Monday, August 31, 2015

Remembering Col. Maximo Abad on National Heroes Day, Marinduque concentration camps, burning of houses

National Heroes Day in the Philippines (last Monday of August), is a national public holiday to honor and remember the country’s national heroes, both known and unknown whose acts of courage enabled the Philippines to grow as a nation.


Towering among local heroes in the island-province of Marinduque is Col. Maximo Abad, hero of the Philippine-American War, the second phase of the Philippine revolution. Abad led the Marinduque revolutionary forces and defeated the Americans in the "Battle of Pulang Lupa". 
Many historical buffs could easily draw the conclusion that the exploits of the more celebrated national heroes would pale in comparison to the war exploits in that battle of this great local hero.
The most comprehensive account of the U.S. Army's pacification of Marinduque was authored by Andrew J. Birtle and was published in the Journal of Military History 61 (April 1997).
Conclusively in that comprehensive article, Marinduque in those days was where the earliest harsh employment of "population concentration", euphemism for concentration camps, the burning of houses and other forms of violence against men and animals were used as technique to make people subservient to new foreign masters. Shades of this technique are uncannily still employed in this tiny island-province until today - to bring people into subservience as a study of its contemporary political history will show.
The Birtle account begins with the following gripping lines:
“The severity with which the inhabitants have been dealt would not look well if a complete history of it were written out”.  
”So wrote Philippine Commissioner William Howard Taft concerning the U.S. Army's campaign on the island of Marinduque during the Philippine War of 1899-1902. The pacification of Marinduque was characterized by extensive devastation and marked one of the earliest employments of population concentration in the Philippine War, techniques that would eventually be used on a much larger scale in the two most famous campaigns of the war, those of Brigadier Generals J. Franklin Bell in Batangas and Jacob H. Smith in Samar..." 
Taft would later become the Governor-General of the Philippines and later serve as the 27th President of the United States (1909-1913).
But other than the Birtle account, what more do we know about Col. Maximo Abad since very little is known about his life?
A couple of days ago, thanks to the Internet, I have received via this blog additional information from a reader, RA Sor, as comment to an article I wrote five years ago, "Tracing the footsteps of Col. Maximo Abad" which, in the spirit of National Heroes Day, are both reproduced below: 
AvatarRamon L. Abad is half brother of Ramon "Daddy Amon" Sunico, Francisca "Mama Ne" Sunico-Monzon (wife of MLQU founder Chairman and President Leoncio Monzon and Julito Sunico. Consolacion Lozano Abad was married to a Sunico, widowed then married Col. Abad.

    • Avatar



      Colonel Maximo Abad married a Consolacion Lozano (pure Spanish decent daughter of a Galleon Captain Lozano. Colonel Maximo Abad was father to Ramon L. Abad. However he had other issue from other women in his life.

      Col. Abad lived with his family in Pikit North Cotobato, he was an applicant for homesead patent in Pikit, however the Japanese War prevented titling in his name of the land he developed. His lot houses the Municipal Government, School, Church and of late a pineapple farm which operates on his property without the consent of his heirs.
      Documents relative to his ownership over said lot is in Malacanang Library, a case was filed in Pikit with counsel Atty. Benedicto on record.

    TRACING THE FOOTSTEPS OF COLONEL MAXIMO ABAD

    by Eli J. Obligacion

    (Photo: Labanan sa Pulang Lupa dance-drama, 2007, written and directed by Eli J. Obligacion)

    TRACING THE FOOTSTEPS OF COL. MAXIMO ABAD... AND CAPT. TEOFILO ROQUE


    Lt. Col. Maximo Abad is probably one of the most elusive among the Filipino soldiers who fought during the Philippine-American War, the hero who led the Marinduque revolutionary forces and defeated the Americans in the “Battle of Pulang Lupa”. During the last four decades after the first commemoration in Marinduque of this, now annually-celebrated event, facts about Abad have remained equally elusive. 

    So little is known about him – the Maximo Abad who tenaciously adhered to the cause of Marinduque’s defense and Philippine Independence. For one, the name does not appear in the Centennial Resource Book, “Ang mga Bayani sa Ating Kasaysayan” listing of famous and unsung heroes, a project completed in connection with the Philippine Centennial in 1998. 

    The Philippine National Police provincial headquarters in Marinduque is named after him: “Camp Col. Maximo Abad”. Yet, for years the Camp has tried, in vain, to also trace his mother's surname so the initial could be appended between “Maximo” and “Abad” in the welcome signage there.

    Since nothing really appears to have been written about Abad’s background, (except his well-documented exploits in the Marinduque battle), we felt it appropriate to try to dig into some old documents, surf, recollect, and ask around here to trace his steps, to know a bit more about our celebrated hero. After all, August 31 is a holiday for national heroes. 

    Birtle (U.S. Army’s Pacification Campaign in Marinduque, April 1900-April 1901), described him as “a moustachioed school teacher from Luzon’s Cavite province”. We dig up an old Boac fiesta souvenir program with a brief description of the town’s history naming Maximo Abad as a “Maestro” in the first school for boys established there, “Escuela de Nino”, and that he was from Imus. Imus, of course, has always been associated with the resistance movement, and this might explain his early association with Gen. Mariano Trias, from whom he’d eventually be getting orders in the course of his Marinduque exploits. So we’re beginning to find connections. 

    Birtle contends that the civil and military leadership of the resistance movement on Marinduque was firmly rooted in the island's middle and upper classes, and that the insurrection was also in many ways a 
    family affair. 

    The American writer then goes on to tell us that Abad’s brother-in-law, Capt. Fausto Roque commanded the 1st Guerilla, and that Fausto had a cousin, Teofilo Roque (of the Battle of Paye fame whose biography also appears nowhere and likewise, needs to be written for history buffs). Teofilo commanded the 2nd Guerilla. 

    That leads us to the Roque residence in Mercado St., Boac, hoping to find more clues, particularly the name of Abad’s wife and children, if any, because that was our original intent.

    We find that Fausto and Teofilo were cousins, indeed. But at the moment, no one remembers the name of Maximo’s beloved wife. They had a son for sure, we are told, but there's uncertainty if they had other children too.

    We, however, unearth some information about Teofilo, the Paye hero. Teofilo was born in 1873, the son of Tomas Roque*, native of Bulacan, and Juana Navaroso, a local lass from Boac. Teofilo was the third of nine children. He graduated as a law student at Ateneo de Manila, and was still a bachelor in 1898, when he served as Lieutenant in the Marinduque Revolutionary Force.

    By the time the Paye episode transpired he was already married to Filomena “Nena” Morente. The marriage did not produce any offspring. He was 60 when his wife died, then moved to Manila where he died in August 1942 at age 69. That appeared to give us some idea about the Teofilo Roque persona.

    Then we zoom in again on the Abad character, one who has been described as passive, and turn to the internet. 

    Wikipedia credits Abad for being one of Gen. Licerio Geronimo's riflemen in the Battle of San Mateo (erroneously referred in that site and in many other sites as "Battle of Paye"), which occured on Dec. 19, 1899. But since a major confusion has been caused by Wikipedia in calling it by another name, and considering the fact that it was Abad's men who were involved in the real Battle of Paye on July 31, 1900, in Boac, Marinduque (led by Capt. Teofilo Roque), we'll have to consider it a confused claim unless backed up by verifiable references.

    We then discover the text of a Supreme Court document dated Oct. 22, 1902, that showed Abad was earlier charged and convicted for having denied to an officer of the U.S. Army the existence of certain rifles which had been concealed at the time of his surrender in April 1901. It appears that he appealed the conviction and the Supreme Court held that the violation committed by the appellant Abad falls within the scope of “treason” and “sedition” and covered by the amnesty proclamation. The Court decided that Abad was entitled to the benefits of the proclamation and ordered that he be discharged
    .
    The Maximo Abad surrender photo. Abad is accompanied in this photo by his comrades who had earlier surrendered, and by Col. Harry Hill Bandholtz of the Philippine Constabulary.

    So, this shows that the Americans pulled one over him after having dangled the carrot that ensured fair treatment if he surrendered. He did surrender on April 15, 1901, at Boac’s town plaza in an impressive ceremony attended by the townspeople.

    We then come across other leads, chancing upon a listing of municipal heads in Imus from 1888 to the present which showed an entry: “Maximo Abad (1910-1912)”. That appears to tell us that our man returned to Imus and even became its mayor eight years later.

    What happens next? A passage from Cotabato’s history states a new twist, thus:

    “The first Christian settlers in Cotabato from outside of Mindanao, mostly coming from the province of Cebu, arrived in Pikit on June 17, 1913 at the behest and as a result of the efforts of the late President Sergio OsmeƱa, who was then the Speaker of the Philippine Commission. Expenses of their transfer to the "Land of Promise" were subsidized by the government. The administrator of the colonies given to the settlers at that time was a superintendent by the name of Maximo Abad, a government appointed official, who took care of the settlers’ needs like food and farm implements. There were six more batches of colonies that arrived thereafter...”

    It therefore appears that the adventurous spirit of Abad never waned and he journeyed to a vaster frontier that imposed bigger challenges.

    Col. Maximo Abad

    Finally, we find something as we come across a site attempting to trace genealogies:

    “Col. Maximo Abad (deceased) Husband of unknown and Consolacion; Father of Ramon Lozano Abad and Josefina”

    And related information stating that “Ramon Lozano Abad” was “Half-brother of Ramon, Francisco and Julito”

    Fresh leads. He appears to have remarried and raised more children, and three appear to be half-brothers. In time, someone might prove instrumental when we finally gain access to the Revolutionary Papers tightly guarded within the confines of the National Archives.

    It's not an easy task to put it all together. But we're seized by the inescapable feeling that tracing the paths of an elusive person brings. We feel it's a good start. A great National Heroes Day for me, I might say.



    Sources:
    (*Tomas Roque (Dec. 29, 1841-June 6, 1907): Boac Gobernadorcillo from 1877-1979 and 1897-1898. Helped in the local distribution of Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibustrismo” together with Marcelo Mirafuente of Boac; was authorized by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898 to recruit and train soldiers who eventually figured in the Paye and Pulang Lupa battles. “Tomas Roque Street” in Boac named after him.
    Source: Document from granddaughter Juanita Roque-Enriquez as told by Joaquin Roque, a son of Tomas Roque)

    The Journal of Military History 61(April 1997) The U.S. Army's Pacification of Marinduque, Philippine Islands, April 1900-April 1901 by Andrew J. Birtle.
    Interview with Mrs. Fe Corazon Enriquez-Recalde. She supplied documents on Teofilo Roque prepared by her mother, Juanita Roque based on an account by Joaquin Roque, a brother of Teofilo.

    http://www.wowphilippines.com.ph/explore_phil/place_details.asp?content=history&province=61
    http://www.msc.edu.ph/centennial/hero/bicol/page10.html
    www.en.wikipedia.org
    www.ulongbeach.com
    www.gini.com

    Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio figures in today's commemoration.
    Now where's Col. Maximo Abad's resting place?

    Sunday, August 30, 2015

    With a Satanic Smartmatic...


    What are we to do now?

    We are only months away from the Philippine presidential elections of 2016 yet it is not clear how the elections will be held or conducted. This is worrying.
    BayanKo adviser, Jose Alejandrino wrote that the shift to an automated voting system is the source of the problems.
    “The introduction of automated voting systems has injected a new dimension few can fathom. It has made it easier to manipulate voting results by unseen hands to favor candidates external powers deem “malleable,” “controllable” and “manageable” to fit their agenda in countries that are considered strategic such as the Philippines because of its location.
     It happened in Latin America. It happened in Edsa to dislodge a dictator. It happened in previous Philippine elections.
    The injection of a new dimension was facilitated by a corrupt environment. In some Latin American countries, control was exercised traditionally through the ruling established orders made up of big business, the military, and the church, or the conservative factions that were the right-wing elements. The arrival of the Fidel Castros and the Hugo Chavezes began a process of transformation towards the marginalized sectors. Thus they were viewed as a threat by the dominant external power in the region.
    Filipino politicians are mere pawns in this big game of chess for the simple reason they do not understand the dynamics of the process, being more concerned with enriching themselves and staying in power.
    Sooner or later, the cycle will break as Filipino voters realize their votes no longer count, their democracy is a farce, they are being manipulated by internal and external forces working together to maintain the status quo.
    Change may take the form of a peaceful transition to a new constitutional order or a violent revolution, but change will come as is happening in Latin America.”
    Automated voting system is unfit for democratic elections.
    It is good that the critics of automated voting systems have sustained their attacks against Smartmatic-PCOS. Rene Azurin sent this column a reply to Andy Bautista, the new Comelec chairman.
    “First, it has no transparency. With the way the system is set up, the public and independent observers have no idea what the machine is doing or what results it is reporting.
    Second, there is no way the votes can be verified or audited.
    With important security protocols disabled, the public and independent observers cannot verify what votes are being counted or audit the results reported.
    Third, it is not accurate. The Smartmatic machines have never been shown to be able to meet the accuracy standards prescribed in the law (99.995%).”
    He adds that “the greatest danger of the Comelec/Smartmatic system will come from insiders who can easily manipulate the system from within. They can manipulate the system to produce any result they want and no one can check and control this. “
    “With important security protocols disabled – like digital signatures, source code review, write-once CF memory devices, independent (trusted) public verification of correct software code installation in the machines before deployment and then again after deployment at the various precincts just before start of voting, properly designed random manual audits, etc., etc. – the public and independent observers have no way of verifying and authenticating the count or the results reported.
     Basically, we are all forced to accept whatever Smartmatic/Comelec reports as the results. This is NOT democratic.
    Anyone with what is called “root access” can change the logs and no one would be the wiser.
    Besides, manipulating the results by outsiders will most likely be done by changing the configurations of the rewritable CF cards or by pre-marking the ballots. More sophisticated methods involve transmitting fabricated results from PCOS machines other than the precinct machines and by introducing malicious code into the PCOS machines and canvassing servers, actions that can be readily done by insiders with access and intent. In 2013, there was a deliberate stoppage of transmissions to the Transparency Server about 2 hours into the canvassing to allow a Smartmatic technician to illegally fiddle with the scripts (program codes). At that time, some 20 million votes were supposed to have already been tallied for an absurdly small number of precincts and continuing the tallying at that rate would have resulted in the votes exceeding the registered number of voters. After that, there was another mysterious 44-hour lull in the transmission of votes from the precincts to the national canvassing servers (including the so-called Transparency Server).
    The fact is, the relationship between our Comelec and an unqualified (and discredited) Smartmatic offering a defective election system looks and feels perverted and evil.”
    This column has received criticism of the Smartmatic-PCOS from a new source. It comes from Marian Schmid, a supplier from Germany. According to its Filipino partners, its bid never even got a chance to be looked at by Comelec.
    Schmid writes:
    “The OMR (pcos) of Smartmatic are unreliable due to certain features that don’t accurately reflect the votes cast by Juan Dela Cruz. Apparently, the massive rigging occurs in the transmission of votes from precinct level to national level. There is a SERVER that is controlled by Smartmatic and Comelec! Apparently, the software in the server of Smartmatic is not hashed (in layman’s term, instead of secured PDF file, read only, it’s on Word. Thus, Comelec can change the numbers eg: 60% to party A, 30% to party B and 10% to party C). That means the software of Smartmatic can be tampered and can be accessed by third parties!
    The post audit firms must be credible and not under the payroll of Smartmatic…. The question is who will conduct the independent audit of the post election results?”
    So what is to happen in 2016?  Here’s the answer from former senator and Philippine Red Cross chairman and CEO Richard “Dick” Gordon:
    Richard Gordon
    “With the way the Supreme Court has been sitting on the cases filed regarding the automated elections and the Comelec again leaving to Smartmatic the fate of our elections – I fear that 2016 would not be any different from the previous elections – our taxpayers’ money wasted on substandard and dubious Smartmatic PCOS machines; votes not only uncounted but diverted due to source code manipulations; elected officials being sworn in not with the people’s mandate but by the power of corrupted and corrupt computer programming. This is what we should start preparing for instead of focusing on candidates.
    If we, you, and our people, do not act now and force the Comelec to fully and properly implement the automated election system, we just have to accept the fact that we will be again hoodwinked in 2016.”

    Related story:
    Confirmed distortion on the PCOS count

    Koko wants Smartmatic punished for failure to remedy PCOS machines' digital lines

    Smartmatic-TIM is now facing sanctions over the digital lines on electronic images of ballots during the 2013 elections which, according to a senator, affected the accuracy of the polls’ results.
    Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, co-chairman of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Automated Elections Systems, on Monday said Smartmatic should be punished if it fails to explain and remedy the problem on the digital lines.
    Pimentel made the statement after inspecting the diagnostics of PCOS machines at the Comelec warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna last week.
    Pag di nila ma-explain o di maremedyuhan [If they cannot explain of remedy the problem], penalty should kick in. Sabi nga ni [According to] Acting Chairman (Christian) Lim, there are always penalties in all contracts, so meron din yan [it has one],” Pimentel said.
    “We have to find out because it’s causing a distortion in the count...that means we purchased inaccurate machines which should have failed in the acceptance kasi ang terms of reference is 99.995 percent accuracy… with the digital lines, sira ang accuracy na yun. Kasi the machine is counting votes which are not shaded or voted for by the voter,” Pimentel explained.
    Pimentel said his committee has given a deadline for the Comelec and Smartmatic to explain the matter until December last year but both failed to do so until now.
    Because of the digital lines, Pimentel said, it appears that the Comelec has purchased defective election counting machines from Smartmatic-TIM.
    Likewise, owing to the digital lines, Smartmatic-TIM failed to meet the required accuracy rate set by law and terms of reference of 99.995 percent in ballot counting during the 2013 elections.
    Due to the digital lines, the PCOS machines counted as votes the ovals scanned by the digital lines even though they were not valid votes. Also, because of the digital lines, votes made by voters were rendered invalid.
    And since the required accuracy rate was not achieved, Pimentel said there was a clear violation of the terms of reference which was part of the contract of Smartmatic-TIM and Comelec.
    The lawmaker said it is important that the issue on the digital lines be identified and resolved because the PCOS machines of Smartmatic would still be used in the 2016 elections.
    Acting Comelec chairman Christian Robert Lim earlier said the real cause of the digital lines’ appearance, which is electronically-generated on ballot images of PCOS machines, remains unknown.
    It was learned that Pimentel was one of the victims of digital lines during the 2013 polls. Reports said Pimentel should have been fifth in the ranking of senators but he ended up 8th after the digital lines reduced the number of his official votes.
    The reports also said other victims of the digital lines included evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva who ran as senator but lost. In a case decided by a trial court in Nueva Ecija, it was learned that hundreds of votes intended for Villanueva were not counted due to the digital lines. - Ernie Reyes, InterAksyon

    Saturday, August 29, 2015

    Bishop tells Filipinos: Vote for new faces, not 'trapos'

    Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo has called on the people to vote for new faces, and not the traditional politicians (“trapos”), in 2016 polls.

    He also urged Filipinos not to vote into office political aspirants who are engaged in premature campaigning by appearing on television, billboards and various other media on the pretext of endorsing commercial products or pushing personal advocacies.

    Pabillo, chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs, said the public should refrain from electing traditional politicians who have nothing new to offer to the people.

    bishop-broderick-pabillo
    Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
    “Let’s try to vote for new names,” Pabillo said as he also encouraged ordinary people who think they are capable of becoming leaders in their community to run for public office even if they do not have much funds for the campaign.

    “Let’s look for the not-your-usual politicians. That’s why we invite people to run, those who have not been into politics before. The usual names and faces we see are “trapos.” We would not get anything new from them,” he said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.

    “I hope other Filipinos will be heroic. Run for public office if they think they are capable. They may not be rich and they might not have the money but if they are ready to serve, the people will have a choice. That’s my appeal to voters, let’s vote for new faces,” Pabillo added.

    He also said that spending for political advertisements even before the campaign period official starts should be considered “negative points” against politicians.

    He said politicians who overspend would likely resort to corruption if they win because of the need to recover what they spent.

    “Be wise voters. These political aspirants would certainly try to recover the money they spent once they’re in office. At the same time, we should question them where do they get the money they spend for those expensive political advertisements,” Pabillo said. - Tina G. Santos, Inquirer