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INTO THE HANDS OF THIEVES!

I am reposting this article in the light of new developments in the 2010 Poll Computerization Project being undertaken by controversial Smartmatic in behalf of COMELEC. As per latest news reports, Smartmatic has subcontracted the manufacturing of the vote counting machines to Qisda, China instead of Jarltech, Taiwan which they claimed to have 10% ownership of during the bidding process. Apparently, I was right when I pointed out that the whole thing (about Jarltech) was merely to win the bidding process and circumvent COMELEC bid rules.What worries me is the fact that the whole run-around is being done with the blessings of the Poll Body. I feel there is a need for utmost vigilance from here on and that both Smartmatic and Comelec must  be made to explain the diversion from the original winning bid documents!


(My original post)


Today, I grieve for my country!

Today marks the day when the COMELEC (Commission On Elections of the Philippines) awards the contract for the Poll Computerization Project to Smartmatic!

Today marks the day when the COMELEC is handing over Philippine Democracy to the hands of thieves!

Today marks the day when our freedom to choose our rulers becomes a farce, a cheap sideshow!

Who is Smartmatic?
FACT: Smartmatic is a Venezuelan company funded by the Venezuelan Government under the Dictator Hugo Chavez who narrowly won a recall election which used the questionable Smartmatic machines.

Smartmatic: Hugo Chavez's e-voting firm

London 14.08.05 | The Florida register of companies contains details of the board of directors of Smartmatic Corporation, which is formed by Antonio Mugica, Alfredo Anzola, Antonio Mugica Rivero, Roger Piñate, Antonio Mugica Sesma and Luis Feliu . Its principal place of business is 1001 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, STE D, Boca Raton, FL 33487. The company's history in Venezuela dates back to seven years ago when the venture was "the Research and Development Unit of Panagroup in Venezuela"  .

The Miami Herald reported on Friday May 28, 2004 [ F2 EDITION]:
"A large and powerful investor in the software company that will design electronic ballots and record votes for Venezuela's new and much criticized election system is the Venezuelan government itself... Venezuela's investment in Bizta Corp., the ballot software firm, gives the government 28 percent ownership of the company it will use to help deliver voting results in future elections, including the possible recall referendum against President Hugo Chavez, according to records obtained by The Herald... Until a year ago, the Bizta Corp. was a struggling Venezuelan software company with barely a sales deal to its name, records show. Then, the Venezuelan government -- through a venture capital fund -- invested about $200,000 and bought 28 percent of it" (sic).

Venezuelan journalist Orlando Ochoa Teran investigated the claims published by the Miami Herald and discovered that Venezuelan officials were behind the incorporation of Smartmatic. Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel and Venezuelan Ambassador to the USA Bernardo Alvarez Herrera are intimately related, either through long time friendship or consanguinity relationship, to the directors of Smartmatic. According to registry documents, that went missing after the Herald blew the whistle, the names associated to the company are Alfredo Anzola, Antonio Mugica and families Gabaldon-Anzola and Herrera-Oropeza . The incorporation of Smartmatic took place in the Fifth Mercantile Registry, located in the ground floor of tower B in “Cubo Negro” building in Chuao Caracas. Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel's daughter -lawyer Gisela Rangel Avalos de D'Armas was, at the time, the head of the said registry.
Since March 2004 the CNE has disbursed at least $131 million to Smartmatic.


FICTION: Smartmatic International is a Dutch Corporation!

While it is true that Smartmatic International is registered in Amsterdam, its owners remains to be the same. The registry of the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce, contains details of a venture trading under the name Smartmatic International Holding B.V., incorporated, under a different name, on March 18th 1.985. Its registered address is Naritaweg 165 Telestone 8, 1043BW Amsterdam. The company activities are described as "to purchase, develop and manage property and goods" . The sole shareholder of the holding is Amola Investments N.V., which in turn was incorporated in the registry of the Chamber of Commerce of Curaçao, under number 91615. A search for Amola Investments N.V. in the register of Curaçao's Chamber of Commerce returns no results. However the incorporation number does exist in the register, containing not information related to Amola Investments N.V. but to another company by the name of Smartmatic International Group N.V.  Curaçao Corporation Company N.V. , Netherlands Antilles Corporation Company N.V.  and Roger Alejandro Piñate Martinez -Vice President, Special Operations of Smartmatic Corporation - are the three listed statutory and managing directors of the group.

 Evidently, Smartmatic's registration with the Amsterdam Chamber Of Commerce was a ploy to make it appear that it is a Dutch company. Apparently, this is in preparation to making a bid for the computerization of the Venezuelan elections as well as to buy total controlling interest on Sequoia Voting System which has a contract to run elections in a county in Chicago, USA.

FACT: Smartmatic does not have a manufacturing facility of its own and only subcontracts its machines with other manufacturing companies which do not carry the products Smartmatic is offering in their catalogs. As in the Venezuelan experience, Smartmatic bought the machines from Olivetti in Italy which never had prior experience in manufacturing electoral machines before.

Info Venezuela News had this to say on the matter:


20.000 AES300 machines were bought from Olivetti, however the Italian firm does not have such a model in its catalog of products but one called MAEL 205, which was designed to play lottery. Ochoa noted that the said machines produced by Olivetti were sold to Peru, India and Tunisia not for electoral purposes. Smartmatic did not fulfill the CNE's criteria in terms of experience in organization and conduct of electoral processes of companies that participated in the bidding process. The obstacle was circumvented by hiring Jorge Tirado, former contractor of IFES and director of Caribbean Government Consultants (CGC):
Jorge Tirado, president of CGC, has been consultant for the State Electoral Commission of Puerto Rico since1975. He has participated in more than 63 electoral processes as consultant or as head of CGC, leading technological initiatives and process lines to ensure transparent elections.
However El Universal reported that Tirado had indeed participated in 63 electoral processes not in the condition of organizer but as an observer contracted by IFES , Jimmy Carter's organization with which he has an old relationship.

FICTION: Smartmatic owns 10% of Jarltech Taiwan which will manufacture the PCOS machines.

Smartmatic's claim of 10% ownership of Jarltech has not been thoroughly verified by COMELEC's SBAC, and available information about Jarltech does not include Smartmatic as one of its investors. For a PHP 11.3B project,  it is but prudent that extensive investigation on the matter must first be made and not rely merely on notarized documents submitted by the bidder (which can easily be fabricated). Besides, PCOS machines have never been fabricated by Jarltech before and this will be the first time they will be producing such machines - which make Smartmatic ineligible in terms of organization and experience in the conduct of electoral processes.

Smartmatic have had a history of circumventing rules to bag a contract as in the Venezuelan experience where they subcontracted the machines to Olivetti. Since COMELEC rules clearly forbids subcontracting the manufacture of the machines, Comelec in possible collusion with Smartmatic officials is bending rules at this point by relaxing eligibility requirements of bidders.

The whole idea behind the prohibition  of subcontracting machines is to make sure the bidder has the manufacturing capability to undertake the project on one hand. On the other hand, it is for security purposes since the only one who undergoes the COMELEC's scrutiny is the bidder and not its subcontractors. For a matter as sensitive as the country's electoral process, this is one area we must all be concerned with. It is a matter we must see to the very end.

FACT: Smartmatic Sold US subsidiary due to CFIUS investigation

Smartmatic purchased Sequoia, a leading voting-equipment vendor, in 2005. The company has been under a cloud of suspicion since the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, began a national-security investigation last fall. The concern was that the Venezuela, headed by President Hugo Chávez, who is known for anti-U.S. antics, might have undue influence in Smartmatic. Given the growing distrust of electronic-voting systems and the fear of vote manipulation, careful review of Smartmatic was justified. Smartmatic initially resisted the CFIUS investigation. Later, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department had undertaken a different investigation of Smartmatic. This investigation was related to possible bribes and tax evasion in Smartmatic's sale of voting equipment to Venezuela's government for use in its 2004 presidential recall election.

FACT: Smartmatic has a convoluted ownership structure

Smartmatic's ownership structure is so convoluted that it is virtually impossible to verify all its owners. Parent company Smartmatic International is owned by a Netherlands company, which is owned by Curacao trusts, which in turn, are controlled by unnamed investors.
The Venezuelan government once had a stake in a company closely linked to Smartmatic. Venezuela invested in Bizta, which is owned by two of Smartmatic's main owners, including Mr. Mujica. Bizta provides software for Smartmatic's voting system and joined Smartmatic in selling that system to the Chávez government for the 2004 recall election. Venezuela sold its stake in Bizta after The Miami Herald reported on the investment, which prompted complaints that the Chávez government shouldn't have any interest in machines that would determine his stay in office.

 FACT: The Smartmatic machines used in the last ARMM election showed some faults. When the machines were presented before Congress, the same faults were noticed. During the just concluded technical evaluation of the machines, smoke came out of the cables.

Observers to the ongoing  technical evaluation of the machines were also prevented from using their cell phones while machine testing was ongoing as they claim the cellphone signals may interfere with the machines' transmission of data....an open admission of a possible machine flaw which amazingly no one paid much attention to.


WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF ALL THESE?

There must be a hidden agenda behind the uncanny haste with which the COMELEC is pushing the Poll Computerization Project. I can even relate the recent Congress' approval of ChaCha as a smoke screen to divert people's attention to it so that the awarding of the project to Smartmatic will go on without a hitch and the project implemented promptly. It is equally concerning that the Parish Pastoral Council have not raised any of these points during the technical evaluation.





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After digging up a huge arms cache in a vacant lot behind the Ampatuan mansions, authorities also raided the NFA warehouse which also turned out to have a sizeable amount of sophisticated weapons and ammunitions and military vehicles. Although they have an idea as to who owns these military hardware, they were careful to point out that they yet have to establish ownership of the same.

Well, they need not go far. They can ask Sham Ampatuan (Zaldy Ampatuan's son?) He has blatantly published pictures of himself showing him test firing these weapons on his public Friendster profile. I am publishing the pictures here before he decides to go private and/or delete the pictures!




These pictures should help them establish ownership of the huge arms cache. They may also contain pictures of possible suspects who might have participated in the actual massacre!

So The World Will See: Unpublished Photos Of The Maguindanao Massacre

"Political warlords massacring 57 female foes, lawyers, newsmen, and passersby. The President running for Congress, together with four family members. Appointees campaigning for various offices but not resigning as the law requires. Crime cohorts also running for office instead of going to jail. The 2010 election is off to a most indecent start. So this early Filipinos can say they’re headed for politics worse than ever." - from  GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star) Updated December 02, 2009 


The following photos have been circulating around social networks particularly at Facebook yet they have not seen the light of day on the pages of major dailies! Gruesome? Monstrous? You bet! I am publishing them here so the world will see to what extent these monsters will go to remain in power! Warning: if you have a weak heart, please don't proceed any further!















 For a clear recap on the Maguindanao Massacre, here is a link to Jun Mercado's account of the incident including an insight of the various incidents leading to this fatal day - The Maguindanao Massacre Part 1.


SHAME ON YOU! LIST OF CONGRESSMEN WHO VOTED FOR THE CON ASS

In answer to Lilla Shahani's call to thwart Glora Arroyo's grand scheme to stay in power, I am also reposting this list of congessmen who voted for the con con. This is our "Shame On You List" of congressmen we should not vote for in 2010.



So the people will know. I am herewith publishing the names of the Philippine congressmen who, against the wishes of, and without consultations with the Filipino people insisted on pushing the legislation that aims to transform the legislative body into a constitutional assembly that will make changes to country's charter. They did this brazen act instead of spending time for more urgent matters requiring their attention for a long, long time like the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program which  the farmers have been clamoring for some time now. Read and remember their names. Do not forget them come election time! Do not forget that these are the congressmen who'd rather work for their selfish ends than attend to the concerns of their constituents. Let us relive the spirit of EDSA 1 and trash into oblivion all these trapo politicians in 2010!


ABANTE, Bienvenido M., Manila;
ABLAN, Roque R. Jr., Ilocos Norte;
AGBAYANI, Victor Aguedo E., Pangasinan;
AGYAO, Manuel S., Kalinga;
ALBANO, Rodolfo T. (III), Isabela;
ALFELOR, Felix R. Jr., Camarines Sur;
ALMARIO, Thelma Z., Davao Or.;
ALVAREZ, Antonio C., Palawan;
ALVAREZ, Genaro Rafael M. Jr., Negros Occ.;
AMANTE, Edelmiro A., Agusan del Norte;
AMATONG, Rommel C., Compostela Valley;
ANGPING, Maria Zenaida B., Manila;
ANTONINO, Rodolfo W., Nueva Ecija;
APOSTOL, Trinidad G., Leyte;
AQUINO, Jose S. (II), Agusan del Norte;
ARAGO, Maria Evita R., Laguna;
ARBISON, Munir M., Sulu;
ARENAS, Ma. Rachel J., Pangasinan;
ARROYO, Diosdado M., Camarines Sur;
ARROYO, Ignacio T., Negros Occ.;
ARROYO, Juan Miguel M., Pampanga;
BAGATSING, Amado S., Manila;
BALINDONG, Pangalian M., Lanao del Sur;
BARZAGA, Elpidio F. Jr., Cavite;
BAUTISTA, Franklin P., Davao del Sur;
BELMONTE, Vicente F. Jr., Lanao del Norte;
BICHARA, Al Francis C., Albay;
BIRON, Ferjenel G., Iloilo;
BONDOC, Anna York P., Pampanga;
BONOAN-DAVID, Ma. Theresa B., Manila;
BRAVO, Narciso R. Jr., Masbate;
BRIONES, Nicanor M., AGAP Party List;
BUHAIN, Eileen Ermita, Batangas;
BULUT, Elias C. Jr., Apayao;
CAGAS, Marc Douglas C. (IV), Davao del Sur;
CAJAYON, Mary Mitzi L., Bohol;
CAJES, Roberto C., Bohol;
CARI, Carmen L., Leyte;
CASTRO, Fredenil H., Capiz;
CELESTE, Arthur F., Pangasinan;
CERILLES, Antonio H., Zamboanga del Sur;
CHATTO, Edgardo M., Bohol;
CHONG, Glenn A., Biliran;
CHUNGALAO, Solomon R., Ifugao;
CLARETE, Marina P., Misamis Occ.;
CODILLA, Eufrocino M. Sr., Leyte;
COJUANGCO, Mark O., Pangasinan;
COQUILLA, Teodulo M., Eastern Samar;
CRISOLOGO, Vincent P., Quezon City;
CUA, Junie E., Quirino;
CUENCO, Antonio V., Cebu City;
DANGWA, Samuel M., Benguet;
DATUMANONG, Simeon A., Maguindanao;
DAYANGHIRANG, Nelson L., Davao Or.;
DAZA, Nanette C., Quezon City;
DAZA, Paul R., Northern Samar;
DE GUZMAN, Del R., Marikina City;
DEFENSOR, Arthur D. Sr., Iloilo;
DEFENSOR, Matias V. Jr., Quezon City;
DEL MAR, Raul V., Cebu City;
DIASNES, Carlo Oliver D., Batanes;
DIMAPORO, Abdullah D., Lanao del Norte;
DOMOGAN, Mauricio G., Baguio;
DUAVIT, Michael John R, Rizal;
DUENAS, Henry M. Jr., Taguig;
DUMARPA, Faysah Omaira M., Lanao del Sur;
DUMPIT, Thomas L. Jr., La Union;
DURANO, Ramon H. (IV), Cebu;
ECLEO, Glenda B., Dinagat Islands;
EMANO, Yevgeny Vincente B., Misamis Or.;
ENVERGA, Wilfrido Mark M., Quezon;
ESTRELLA, Conrado M. (III), Pangasinan;
ESTRELLA, Robert Raymundo M., ABONO Party List;
FERRER, Jeffrey P., Negros Occ.;
GARAY, Florencio C., Surigao del Sur;
GARCIA, Albert S., Bataan;
GARCIA, Pablo John F., Cebu;
GARCIA, Pablo P., Cebu;
GARCIA, Vincent J., Davao City;
GARIN, Janette L., Iloilo;
GATCHALIAN, Rexlon T., Valenzuela City;
GATLABAYAN, Angelito C., Antipolo City;
GO, Arnulfo F., Sultan Kudarat;
GONZALES, Aurelio D. Jr.; Pampanga
GONZALES, Raul T. Jr., Iloilo City;
GULLAS, Eduardo R., Cebu;
GUNIGUNDO, Magtanggol T., Valenzuela City;
HOFER, Dulce Ann K., Zamboanga Sibugay;
JAAFAR, Nur G., Tawi-Tawi;
JALA, Adam Relson L., Bohol;
JALOSJOS, Cesar G., Zamboanga del Norte;
JALOSJOS-CARREON, Cecilia G., Zamboanga del Norte;
JIKIRI, Yusop H., Sulu; KHO, Antonio T., Masbate:
LABADLABAD, Rosendo S., Zamboanga del Norte;
LACSON, Jose Carlos (V), Negros Occ.;
LAGDAMEO, Antonio F. Jr., Davao del Norte;
LAPUS, Jeci A., Tarlac;
LAZATIN, Carmelo F., Pampanga;
LIM, Reno G., Albay;
LOPEZ, Jaime C., Manila;
MADRONA, Eleandro Jesus F., Romblon;
MAGSAYSAY, Maria Milagros H., Zambales;
MALAPITAN, Oscar G., Caloocan City;
MAMBA, Manuel N., Cagayan;
MANGUDADATU, Datu Pax S., Sultan Kudarat;
MARANON, Alfredo D. (III), Negros Occ.;
MATUGAS, Francisco T., Surigao del Norte;
MENDOZA, Mark Leandro L., Batangas;
MERCADO, Roger G., Southern Leyte;
MIRAFLORES, Florencio T., Aklan;
NAVA, Joaquin Carlos Rahman A., Guimaras;
NICOLAS, Reylina G., Bulacan;
NOGRALES, Prospero C., Davao City;
OLAÑO, Arrel R., Davao del Norte;
ONG, Emil L., Northern Samar;
ORTEGA, Victor Francisco C., La Union;
PABLO, Ernesto C., APEC Party List;
PANCHO, Pedro M., Bulacan;
PANCRUDO, Candido P. Jr., Bukidnon;
PICHAY, Philip A., Surigao del Sur;
PIÑOL, Bernardo F. Jr., North Cotabato;
PUNO, Roberto V., Antipolo City;
RAMIRO, Herminia M., Misamis Occ.;
REMULLA, Jesus Crispin C., Cavite;
REYES, Carmencita O., Marinduque;
REYES, Victoria H., Batangas;
ROBES, Arturo B., San Jose del Monte City;
RODRIGUEZ-ZALDARRIAGA, Adelina, Rizal;
ROMAN, Herminia B., Bataan;
ROMARATE, Guillermo A. Jr., Surigao del Norte;
ROMUALDEZ, Ferdinand Martin G., Leyte;
ROMUALDO, Pedro, Camiguin;
ROMULO, Roman T., Pasig City;
ROXAS, Jose Antonio F., Pasay City;
SALIMBANGON, Benhur, Cebu;
SALVACION, Andres D. Jr., Leyte;
SAN LUIS, Edgar S., Laguna;
SANDOVAL, Alvin S., Malabon-Navotas;
SANTIAGO, Joseph A., Catanduanes;
SANTIAGO, Narciso D. (III), ARC Party List;
SEACHON-LANETE, Rizalina L., Masbate;
SEARES-LUNA, Cecilia M., Abra;
SILVERIO, Lorna C., Bulacan;
SINGSON, Eric D., Ilocos Sur;
SINGSON, Ronald V., Ilocos Sur;
SOLIS, Jose G., Sorsogon;
SOON-RUIZ, Nerissa Corazon, Cebu;
SUAREZ, Danilo E., Quezon;
SUSANO, Mary Ann L., Quezon City;
SY-ALVARADO, Ma. Victoria R., Bulacan;
SYJUCO, Judy J., Iloilo;
TALIÑO-MENDOZA, Emmylou J., North Cotabato;
TAN, Sharee Ann T., Western Samar;
TEODORO, Marcelino R., Marikina City;
TEODORO, Monica Louise Prieto, Tarlac;
TEVES, Pryde Henry A., Negros Or.;
TUPAS, Neil C. Jr., Iloilo;
UNGAB, Isidro T., Davao City;
UY, Edwin C., Isabela;
UY, Reynaldo S., Western Samar;
UY, Rolando A., Cagayan de Oro City;
VALDEZ, Edgar L., APEC Party List;
VALENCIA, Rodolfo G., Or. Mindoro;
VARGAS, Florencio L., Cagayan;
VILLAFUERTE, Luis R., Camarines Sur;
VILLAROSA, Ma. Amelita C., Occ. Mindoro;
VIOLAGO, Joseph Gilbert F., Nueva Ecija;
YAP, Jose V., Tarlac;
YU, Victor J., Zamboanga del Sur;
ZAMORA, Manuel E., Compostela Valley;
ZIALCITA, Eduardo C., Parañaque.
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The Maguindanao Massacre - An Eyewitness Account

MAGUINDANAO PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 2...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
The prime suspect in the Maguindanao Massacre gave himself up this morning to authorities. He denied any participation in the crime.(Rubbish!) A reporter from Al Jazeera.net, Marga Ortigas, who is In Buluan to cover the event, reported talking to an eyewitness to the incident. Here is an excerpt of her report:

"His surrender comes as a man who says he was a witness to Monday's killings told Al Jazeera that Ampatuan Jr had directly ordered the massacre targeting a political rival for the provincial governorship.

The witness, who identified himself only as "Boy", said he was among more than 100 armed men who held up a convoy of political campaigners and journalists before taking them to a remote mountainous area.

He said Ampatuan Jr had ordered the gunmen to kill all the members of a rival political clan, including women and children, and to make sure no evidence was left behind.

"Datu Andal himself said… anyone from the Mangudadatu clan - women or children - should be killed," he told Al Jazeera.

"We don't ask why, we just follow orders."

"Boy", who is now in hiding fearing his life is in danger, said all of the women in the group had been raped before being killed and their bodies dumped in mass graves that had already been dug out using an excavator."








For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV


With a backhoe from the provincial motorpool having been used to dig up the shallow graves for the victims (left in the crime scene apparently in a hurried escape), an accusing finger must be pointed at the older Ampatuan too! Ampatuan Sr. must also be charged as an accessory to this crime. Everyone responsible must be punished. Let us not be fooled into accepting Ampatuan Jr. as the sole escape goat for this despicable crime.

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Latest Update On the Maguindanao Massacre

46 bodies have been dug so far. This despicable act was pre-meditated...planned and executed by no less than the 'political monster' created by GMA herself. It must be recalled that the Ampatuans delivered the crucial votes for GMA in the 2004 elections, and a 12-0 victory for GMA's senatorial bets in 2007. Maguindanao was also were the first dry run for computerized elections was help during the ARMM elections where Zaldy Ampatuan won hands down. Expect the worst for the coming 2010 elections.








For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV
 



Secretary Jesus Dureza with the Ampatuans immediately after the massacre
"Concocting a whitewash?"





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Map of Maguindanao showing the location of BuluanImage via Wikipedia
6 months away from the 2010 elections and barely 4 days after the start of the filing of the Certificates of Candidacies, and already 30 people died in the most violent 2010 poll related incident in the Philippines. Buluan vice mayor Ismael "Toto" Mangudadatu who is running for governor of Maguindanao told ANC that his wife, Jenalyn, his sister, and some relatives together with some 15 media men who went to cover the event were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy on his behalf when a group of about 100 armed men abducted them.

Responding Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel, the 601st Infrantry Brigade, recovered 13 female and 8 male bodies were found around 4:30 p.m. Monday. In a phone interview with ABS-CBN News, Buluan Mayor Ibrahim "Jong" Mangudadatu confirmed that at least 30 bodies have been recovered as of Monday evening. Madaser "Toy" Mangudadato, a member of regional legislative assembly of ARMM, told ANC that they sent their female relatives to file the certificate of candidacy for "Toto" in the hope that their political rivals would not harm them. Earlier, it was reported that the Ampatuans warned that if Toto will personally file his candidacy, he will be hurt.

The Ampatuans are known allies of the administration, and the audacity with which the crime was committed in broad daylight only goes to show to what extent these politicians are willing to go to remain in power.

Here are the news accounts from the two major television networks networks. Unfortunately the news accounts are in the local language and no annotations are available.






For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV


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Noynoy Aquino @ "GMA's Isang Tanong, Isang Sagot"

Together with the other presidentiables, Noynoy Aquino went under the spotlight in GMA'S "Eleksyon 2010 Isang Tanong, Isang Sagot", a GMA public affairs program that let the viewers know more about their candidates. My apologies to non -Filipino readers, the following video is in the local dialect and there are no translations nor annotations available.




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Take A Load Of This! - A Potshot on Philippine Politics Today




If you were entertained by the popular Korean "Nobela",  Boys Over Flowers, you'll surely find it hilariously entertaining watching the unfolding daily drama known as the Philippine Presidential Elections 2010.
Words of Warning: The performances of the above actors and actress in the forthcoming presidential campaigns can be deceptively convincing enough to divert your attention away from the unfinished tasks of EDSA Revolution of 1986!
Yup! You guessed it right. Lila Ramos Shahani is the niece of former president Fidel V. Ramos. I came across her new blog Notes From An Insomniac - forays into things elliptical by Lila R. Shahani (through Noynoy Aquino's website). Lila is currently working on her doctorate at Oxford and doing consultancies for the UN on the side. Little known to the Filipinos, she must have grown up and schooled abroad, Lila's blog shows that her heart and soul is more pinoy than many of us. Lila has chosen to be outspoken as she boldly pronounced her stand on Philippine politics - to no less than  former president Fidel V. Ramos who is her uncle, a staunch supporter of GMA, and a political kingmaker.

Her first ever entry on her new blog is an open letter to her uncle FVR. I am posting her letter here in its entirety because I believe every Filipino must read it...I believe this is how every Filipino must think about the forthcoming presidential elections too. Her letter to her infamous uncle shows her genuine concern for the Filipinos.


14 October 2009




Dear Uncle Ed,



I was very relieved to hear that you were all safe and sound in the wake of Ondoy and Pepeng. But how devastating that our people had to go through two such onslaughts (particularly in Pangasinan, Ilocos and Manila -- all of which remain very close to our hearts) one after the other! I hope and pray that the flooding eventually subsides and people are rehabilitated safely. And if Napocor and the San Roque people are in fact partially responsible for the terrible flooding in Pangasinan, I sincerely hope that they are made to face their day in court.


I thought I would write you because I’m concerned about some things that have been happening at home. I am not sure who you will endorse for president but I know that it will most likely tip the balance again, much in the way that your endorsements have done in the past. I have never felt the need to write you before, although I have always carefully observed your decisions through the years.


And I certainly had questions -- questions about human rights during the martial law years, military logging under the Marcos administration, the signing of IPP contracts after the power crisis (and the high cost of electricity for consumers), the San Roque dam, PEA/Amari, the Fort Bonifacio conversion/privatization program, the VFA, the Centennial celebration, the endorsement of Joe de V and the continued support of GMA until the bitter end. I was relieved to learn that you had been cleared of any wrongdoing in the PEA/Amari case, but always wondered whether your decision to endorse Joe de V (which was after all a party decision as well) was inextricably linked to it.


Why am I bringing all this up now? Only to say that, as your niece, I have had many questions about your decisions through the years, but none that ever made me feel the need to engage with you at length. To begin with, ours was not a particularly discursive relationship. More importantly, I always felt the need to give you the benefit of the doubt, and trusted that you had the best interests of the Filipino people at heart.


And there was certainly ample evidence that you had done tremendous things in your lifetime. Not only were you a hero of EDSA 1: you had had a brilliant military career and were arguably one of the best presidents the country has ever had. Winning by only a small margin, you turned what might have been a costly liability into the success of pluralism. With liberalization and deregulation during your term, FDI increased and the economy as a whole remained strong, even throughout the Asian financial crisis. In fact, privatization, revenue generation through a VAT on luxury goods and services, working with the communist and Muslim insurgency, and focusing on OFW rights (particularly in the case of Flor Contemplacion) -- were all hallmarks of your administration, and certainly the kind of decisions my Fletcher professors would have applauded. Indeed, the suggestions of corruption were minimal, seen in the context of all your positive contributions and in comparison with preceding and succeeding presidents. Without a doubt.


But I finally had to break my silence after having watched the Ondoy aftermath with horror, realizing that our government was as much to blame for the colossal loss of life and habitation in the country as was climate change. As an engineer, you know that the flooding was also due to poor civil engineering, urban planning and zoning; lack of waste management; lack of education and corruption.


The thought of your supporting Gibo (or even a Villar/Escudero tandem, for that matter, in the event that Gibo has become too unpopular since Ondoy) was finally enough to make me put pen to paper. Without a doubt, Gibo is “incomparably competent,” but then so were Joe de V and GMA, Uncle Ed -- and look what happened. I understand that you supported GMA because you wanted macroeconomic stability in the country above all, particularly in the apparent absence of any viable alternatives.


But I think the sweep of history speaks for itself: competent candidates with strong party affiliations are not necessarily going to be good leaders, nor will they necessarily be what the people want. Because they lack a certain basic honesty, and I suspect the people sense that. If Gibo were sincere, why would he stay with Lakas-CMD, particularly now that the merger with Kampi has been honored by the Supreme Court? Surely the ruling party has been discredited at this point, in view of everything GMA has done? There really is no need to enumerate anymore: I think, by now, we’re all pretty familiar with what those things are.


Even Obama was reluctant to have an audience with her, and overseas Filipinos continue to refuse to send money to the Ondoy victims through their embassies and consulates, so deep indeed is their distrust of the government! Moreover, his performance in the post-Ondoy relief effort has hardly been stellar, as you must have already noted. Gibo is also undoubtedly backed by Danding (despite the alleged rift), which suggests that the two things that very much impede progress in our country -- monopolies and oligarchy itself -- will ultimately remain unchanged. This is ostensibly the reason why many young people remain wary of Chiz/Loren or Villar/Escudero. As for Manny V, his meteoric rise to power is nothing short of impressive, to be sure, but his proclivity for engaging in back-room deals has certainly not gone unnoticed. In short, what we see in these candidates appears to be more of the same -- a position, I might add, we can no longer afford, and certainly not at this critical moment in our nation’s history.


Of course Erap’s decision to run will split up the opposition even further, which certainly strengthens the ruling party’s hand. But perhaps my biggest fear about Gibo (apart from the very real possibility that, in subtle ways, the ruling party might cheat) has to do with the fact that charter change appears to be imminent, in which case, if GMA runs for Congress in the meantime, it is not entirely inconceivable that she could become our next Prime Minister. To be sure, you would be granted the same type of soft power you’ve been granted during GMA’s administration, but is it really worth it in the end, Uncle Ed? Do you really want to go down in history as the guy who saved GMA after “Hello, Garci” and who continued to hand the country down to its unscrupulous elite from one administration to another? Isn’t the respect of the young -- and of history itself -- the most important thing, at the end of the day? In my humble opinion, the best way to refurbish the fading Eddie brand now is to do the right thing and heed the will of the people.


Noynoy, of course, is less than perfect: we all know that. His record is remarkable only in its lack of remarkable achievements, and he certainly isn’t a particularly brilliant thinker or charismatic speaker. But he has never been tainted by any suggestions of corruption and does not appear to have the propensity to throw his weight around. He is apparently thoughtful, respectful and humble, and we can only hope that his lineage will encourage him to sacrifice for the country the way his extraordinary parents did. Because of this inimitable heritage, he is now the one candidate with the potential to unite the opposition against the ruling party. For his part, Mar is no slouch, moreover, and the Liberal Party appears to have some progressive elements.


The point is: the people are clearly tired, not just of the “bickering,” as you say, but of the trapos themselves, and are willing to bet on someone who falls very far outside the standard mold (Noynoy is, if you will, a reluctant Cojuangco, something many respect and appreciate). At any rate, I sincerely hope you will consider my thoughts -- the thoughts of a young Filipina who loves her country immeasurably -- when you make your decision.


But none of this changes my love and respect for you, Uncle Ed. I’m just sorely disappointed and hope that, for once in my life, you might actually recognize that I'm old enough to make my own assessments. Nor does this mean that I’m not a “team player.” Because my definition of teamwork is not that you command the team and everyone is thereby obligated to obey you. Instead, team members should be able to have different view points, while still working together for the greater good of the collective whole. In fact, democratic exchange within the team can often enhance the quality of its collective decisions on the whole.


I sincerely hope that you place the country over any other considerations and choose the candidate who is really best for the country, and not in terms of who might further consolidate the tremendous power you already wield.


I hope you won’t be offended by what I have written (and hope you understand if I decide to include some of these ideas in my new blog) but, at 42, I think I’m finally entitled to my own opinion, Uncle Ed. You are after all the only father figure I have ever had (although you may not know it) and I’m writing you the way I would have written my own father, had I just been given a chance.


Please take care of yourself.


Love always,


Lil


Let us just hope the uncle will listen his niece because her thoughts are also the thoughts of millions of suffering Filipinos today.

My Apologies To My Entrecard Droppers!



My sincerest apologies to all my Entrecard droppers.....I have not been able to reciprocate your drops for the last 8 days.....my internet connection went poooped for the last 8 days.  Apparently, my phone lines were accidentally?!? cut off by another phone/ISP provider!  Worst, it took 8 days for my own service provider to resolve the issue...after almost a dozen frantic calls from me...after I finally lost my temper and hollered like hell at the service agent on the other line.

I'm back to my dropaholic form with a promise not to miss a single day again!

Mea Culpa!

Failure Of Philippine Elections In 2010 Is More Than Likely - Read This!


Remember Manuel Zelaya?....The former Honduran president who was ousted in June, 2009 through a military coup? Through an undoubtedly well-planned military operation executed in one single day, Zelaya was arrested and deported at gunpoint. He was supposed to complete his presidential term later this year but he was calling for a referendum to change the constitution so he can remain in power beyond the one term limit imposed by their constitution.

Apart from the similarities in their intentions to hang on to power beyond their constitutionally mandated term limits (of ousted Hondurian president Manuel Zelaya and incumbent Philippine president Gloria Arroyo), I am not inclined to discuss the Honduran incident any further than mentioning the common morbid intention of both leaders.

However, what struck me cold was an incident reported in the Honduran press after the ouster of Zelaya!

Computerized Election Results With No Election
july 10 | kdawson


Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 12:23:58 AM by Pessimist

"In Honduras, according to breaking Catalan newspaper reports (translations available, USA Today mention), authorities have seized 45 computers containing certified election results for a constitutional election that never happened. The election had been scheduled for June 28, but on that day the president, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted. The 'certified' and detailed electronic records of the non-existent election show Zelaya's side having won overwhelmingly."

Guess who supplied Honduras the computerized counting machines!.... The same consortium who will be supplying the machines for the Philippine's 2010 elections!... The same consortium that has supplied the same machines and kept Zelaya's friend and mentor Hugo Chavez of Venezuela in power!


With this revelation, you should not now wonder why practically everyone in Arroyo's cabinet have signified their intentions to run for public office in the coming 2010 elections! You should not wonder now why a practically unknown figure in Philippine politics, with no party affiliations at all to begin with, and only boasts of being Arroyo's Defense Secretary for a short while would run for the highest position in the country. You should not now wonder why Arroyo and her henchmen have the nerve and the gall to call for a charter change like Manuel Zelaya....why they have the nerve to go on wanton spending binges abroad while the rest of the country is mired in poverty!

You should no longer wonder...because Arroyo and her henchmen have the 2010 stage set to their advantage! They know they only need to wait for the 2010 elections and the results will be in their favor!

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Winners Of The IzeaFest Prize Pack

Pondering

Today MarketLeverageTV becomes the MarketLeverage TV Network with multiple shows. And during the debut episode of WrapUp the winners of BenSpark's Ultimate IZEAFest Prize Pack Contest will be chosen.

This contest sprang forth from the mind of Drew Bennett - AKA BenSpark (@BenSpark) after writing his list of 10 Essential items to bring with you to IZEAFest. While writing that post Drew was thinking about all the conferences that he's attended over the years and the things that were essential to a blogger at each event. His dream was to be able to provide those items as prizes to a lucky blogger who will be attending IZEAFest 2009. That along with his 10 Reasons to Attend IZEAFest 2009 gave him inspiration to ask for help in making his dream of giving a great prize pack to some lucky bloggers a reality.


So Drew went out and asked multiple sponsors for help. He is an IZEA Insider for the "I'm Not A Famous Blogger" Crew and as such was provided with tickets to IZEAFest. So prize number one was taken care of. You can't have an Ultimate IZEAFest Prize Pack without a ticket to IZEAFest. From there Drew recruited the generous help of Dina Riccobono (@MLDina) and MarketLeverage (@MarketLeverage) who provided Drew with an Asus Eee PC 1000HA and a Flip Mino HD that is Co-Branded BenSpark.com and MarketLeverage!

Early on when Drew started his search for prizes he made a request from ZINK Imaging who gave him two Polaroid Pogos and 200 sheets of ZINK Paper. He uses one of them to create unique Business cards. When Drew meets you he asks you to take a photo with him using his Xshot. He then prints out an instant photo with his Pogo on ZINK paper and sticks it to the back of his business card. Drew is donating one of his Polaroid PoGos to the winner. He also secured An Xshot for each winner because there are two runner up winners who not only get IZEAFest Tickets (A fantastic and valuable prize in its own right) but they will each get a smaller prize pack.

Drew's friend Michael at Xshot hooked him up with a business contact in the Flipbac Innovations Company and they kicked in some Flipbac (@flipbac) angled viewfinder and LCD screen protectors for digital cameras as prizes. Each Runner up gets one of those and Drew has a few extra to give away at IZEAFest.

To keep people going all weekend long Drew was able to get a case of BluFrog Wildly Healthy Energy Drink donated by Martha Decker (@MarDeck). He is also including energy drink packets from EBOOST (@EBOOST). Drew will have close to 100 packets to give away at IZEAFest 2009, come find him for one. Runner up winners also get an EBOOST prize pack.

Continuing to fill out his Ultimate IZEAFest Prize Pack Drew sought out help from one of his "I'm Not A Famous Blogger" crew members, Jennifer Leet (@jentifa. Jennifer is the queen of contests and she connected with one of her sponsors BriteView (@BriteView to get a Cinema Cube to add to the Ultimate IZEAFest Prize Pack.

Still not quite sure that he had the Ultimate Prize Pack for an IZEAFest attendee Drew sought out something innovative and cool that would reflect the fun open spirit of learning and networking of IZEAFest. He found the perfect prize in the Poken. Drew asked a question on Twitter about whether the Poken was worth the money and the call was answered by @PokenGirl. PokenGirl explained that the Poken is a device that one can use to connect with other people physically by slapping a "High 4" with that other person's Poken. What that does is exchange a digital business card that contains your online social media profiles. Since IZEAFest is all about learning, having fun and making connections with other people a Poken is a great prize that will be going to each of the winners. They even get to choose which of the cute little Pokens they want.

With the Prize Pack Assembled Drew only needed to find some willing judges and he did at Affiliate Summit East. First he recruited Famous Blogger Murray Newlands (@MurrayNewlands), then "I'm Not A Famous Blogger" crew member Tim Jones (@Timothy_Jones) or rather The Real Tim Jones. He also recruited Eric Schechter @ericschechter of ClickBooth and last but not least he recruited Kim Ann Curtin (@KimAnnCurtin, Life Coach to the Affiliates.

The Judges had a difficult task ahead of them. There were four bloggers who went that extra mile to try for the Ultimate IZEAFest Prize Pack. Those folks along with the many others who entered the random drawing are waiting on the edge of their seats until WrapUp airs on the MarketLeverage TV Network Monday Morning 10:30am EST.

Need Help In Looking For The Best Web Hosting Service? Try Web Hosting Geeks!

Looking for the best web hosting service provider  is not an easy task.  It can be hopelessly difficult and truly confusing -  what with hundreds of sites making a claim to be the best service provider in this category. (It's just like looking for a needle in a haystack!) A Google search for the 'best web hosting services' will yield 42,100,000 results while a Yahoo search came up with 269,000,000 sites.  What may add up to your confusion is the fact that these major search engine results include sites that rate different web hosting service providers and those that post tips for bloggers - and there are as just as many rating sites as there are website hosting providers (with their numbers constantly increasing everyday).

The first thing you need to do is to first determine your specific website needs prior to choosing your hosting service provider since this will help you tailor fit your choice provider according to your requirements. Once you have determined what you want out of your website, you now need to compare services and benefits offered by the different listed providers. This is where rating sites become handy.

One web hosting rating site that will surely help you in your search for a hosting service provider that meets your needs to the tee is Web Hosting Geeks -Web Hosting Reviews, Rating and Awards since 2004!
This site constantly rates hosting service providers and features the biggest searchable web hosting directory. Web Hosting Geeks provides complete information on all web hosting providers, their web hosting plans, promotional and discount coupons, and includes unedited user comments by real customers in each review. Valuable information about each service provider can be found on this site such as general information about the site, pricing information, easy-install CMS features, availability of marketing bonus credits, domain and email features, site management tools, optimal database administration, scripting language support, eCommerce systems used, security features, and site building tools.


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