Dear Candidates: Anong tindig nyo sa 2013 poll automation?

PCOS machine

Dear politicos,

Napansin ko na karamihin sa inyo ay tikom ang bibig kapag pinag-uusapan ang samu’t saring kapalpakan ng PCOS machines at bulnerabilidad ng buong automated election system (AES). Nauunawaan ko ito – Bakit mo nga naman kwekwestyonin ang automated system na inaasahan mong magpapanalo sa iyo. Kauna-unawa ang inyong katahimikan sa isyung ito, pero hindi iyon katanggap-tanggap.

Pansinin natin ang mga ulat hinggil sa ginaganap na final testing and sealing (FTS) ng mga election paraphernalia:

  • Sa halip na serialized plastic seal ang gamitin sa pagselyo ng makina at mga balota, packaging tape lang ang ginamit sa ilang tukoy na mga presinto mula Luzon, Visayas hanggang Mindanao. Kumbaga, walang “sealing” na naganap sa aktwal
  • May mga ulat ng di pagtutugma ng manual count at PCOS count
  • May ulat din hinggil sa pagkaantala ng delivery ng election paraphernalia sa ilang probinsya
  • At tulad noong 2010, may mga insidente na biglang huminto ang makina o di kaya’y isinusuka ang mga balota.

Hindi pa kasama sa FTS ang ibang aspeto ng poll automation, tulad ng transmission at canvassing – na noong eleksyong 2010 ay minarkahan ng aberya at anomalya. Naalala nyo pa ba noong lumabas sa central canvassing center na 256 million ang kabuuang bilang ng botante sa Pilipinas?

Kanina, naganap ang malawakang brownout sa Luzon nang nagka-aberya umano ang 5 planta. Hindi ka ba mananawagan sa Comelec na maghanda ng contingency plan kung sakaling mangyari ito sa mismong araw ng halalan? Hindi ka ba na-alarma na maaring may nilulutong malawakang pandaraya? O baka bahagi ka ng maitim na balak?

Huwag mo ring kalilimutang wala pa rin ang source code, ang instruksyon sa PCOS machines kung paano ito dapat magbilang ng boto. Dahil walang source code, wala pa ring source code review kahit pa itinatakda na dapat itong isagawa ayon sa RA 9369 o poll automation law. Ngayon, biglang nagpapakitang gilas si Brillantes na ilalabas na raw ang source code, at isasagawa raw ang source code review pagkatapos ng halalan.

Kung sakaling manalo, susuportahan mo ba ang source code review na isasagawa ng Comelec? O magsasalita ka na lang ba hinggil sa AES kapag lumabas na ikaw ay talunan? Talunan ka na sa akin ngayon pa lang kapag ikaw ay ganyan.

Walang ibang pinapanigan ang iyong katahimikan kundi ang pagkompromiso sa demokrasya. Pag-isipan mo iyan.



Saving Aquino’s balls

First published on

The past few days had been a rowdy ride for Philippine politics and for those who had been closely monitoring it. The tense chapter in the nation’s life unfolded without any hint. And we have the President and his cohorts to thank for bringing us into this badly scripted thriller by haphazardly pursuing a case against former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the last minute.

The turn of events was just too quick that news stories had very short shelf lives that were outlasted only by thetesticle of Arroyo’s lawyer Ferdinand Topacio. The hullaballoo’s ending – Rep. Arroyo being served a warrant of arrest – was so abrupt that the move was hailed by government supporters as sign of the Aquino administration’s political will. On a closer look though, the haste was more of an act of desperation to save President Benigno Aquino III’s political capital.

What was saved by the warrant of arrest wasn’t really Topacio’s family jewels, as presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda jokingly said following the buzzer-beater performance of the Pasay City Regional Trial Court. It was the President’s balls that were saved.

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Nationwide protest on Aug. 31 vs oil overpricing

Photo courtesy of Kilusang Mayo Uno

As if to add fuel to the upcoming nationally coordinated people’s protest, Shell recently announced that it will increase prices of unleaded gasoline and kerosene effective Aug. 30 12:01 am.

  • and Pinoy Weekly have reports on the areas and regions where mass actions will be held.
  • Researcher and activist Arnold Padilla has a comprehensive entry on oil overpricing.

Price hikes barrage

Published on

From toll fees to taxi fares, from cooking gas to bread, the cost of essential goods and services seem to go up at this early start of the year. As wages remain stagnant, more and more Filipinos are being pushed further to the thresholds of survival.

High prices on the road

Full-speed price increases welcomed the new year with the almost 300 percent toll hike at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Those who use the entire length of SLEX from Alabang in Muntinlupa to Sto. Tomas in Batangas now have to pay P76 from the previous P22 for class 1 vehicles such as cars, P152 from P43 for class 2 vehicles such as buses and trucks, and P228 from P65 for class 3 vehicles such as trailers and large trucks.

South Luzon Tollways Corp. brags that such rates are discounted, as they considered to gradually implement the approved fare hikes until April. Toll rates for the entire SLEX will go up to P86 for class 1 vehicles, P172 for class 2, and P258 for class 3 by April.

Toll at the other tail of Metro Manila simultaneously went up. Those who use the North Luzon Expressway from Balintawak to Bocaue in Bulacan now pays P41 from P36 for class 1 vehicles, P102 from P91 for class 2, and P122 from P109 for class 3.

Taxi rate increases, though authorized to be effective only last  January 24, have been implemented earlier by some taxi operators. Flag down rate increased to P40 from the previous P30. The succeeding 300 meters is now charged P3.50 from P2.50.

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Sacred Cows

Published in

Now that a funding for hazard mapping and road projects worth P2.2 billion – the size of last year’s total calamity fund – is funnelled to Arroyo’s district, President Aquino keeps his lips zipped. The anti-Arroyo invectives were nowhere to be found when it was reasonably most expected. In a strange change of tune, the Palace evendefended the huge funding and called it a “necessity.”

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Arroyos and Abads family reunion

First published in the Philippine Online Chronicles

Despite being allowed to gain a fresh congressional term, former presidential son Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo is facing new disqualification charges at the Supreme Court and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).

On Wednesday, militant party-list group Bayan Muna filed a petition before the high court asking the reversal of the Commission on Elections’s (Comelec) decision which allows Arroyo to sit as representative of Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP) party-list.

The Comelec’s decision lets Arroyo join three other Arroyos at the House of Representatives: his mother, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; his brother Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo; and his uncle, Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo, an report said.

Former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros meanwhile challenged Arroyo’s legitimacy to represent security guards and tricycle drivers in Congress at the HRET, saying he had failed to submit the documents to prove that he belonged to the marginalized sector, an report said.

A tricycle driver from Caloocan City also filed a disqualification case before the HRET against Arroyo and asked the tribunal to delete AGP as one of the party-list organizations. Continue reading