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This time, it’s not just water, but chemicals

Mejorada's Point of View

The evidence of massive cheating in Camarines Sur is growing, and all indications point to an organized effort to stall the manual recount being undertaken by the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, and prevent the unseating of Leni Robredo as Vice President in the near-term.

This surfaced last week when revisors discovered more wet ballots from the towns of Canaman ang Garchitorena in Robredo’s home province. This time, however, the ballots were not soaked in water; these were found to be powdery and smelly, and nothing could be read anymore.

The Philippine Star published this report in its April 30, 2018 edition. Here’s the full report. “PET finds ballots soaked in chemicals, jumbled voters’ receipts.”

ballot box design

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Advertisements

This time, it’s not just water, but chemicals

The evidence of massive cheating in Camarines Sur is growing, and all indications point to an organized effort to stall the manual recount being undertaken by the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, and prevent the unseating of Leni Robredo as Vice President in the near-term.

This surfaced last week when revisors discovered more wet ballots from the towns of Canaman ang Garchitorena in Robredo’s home province. This time, however, the ballots were not soaked in water; these were found to be powdery and smelly, and nothing could be read anymore.

The Philippine Star published this report in its April 30, 2018 edition. Here’s the full report. “PET finds ballots soaked in chemicals, jumbled voters’ receipts.”

ballot box design

‘Scam’ ang Bitcoin kag iban pa nga crypto-currency

MANGGAD

Wala lang nabalahuba sa media pero madamo na nga mga Ilonggo nga biktima sang mga scam gamit ang Bitcoin kag iban pa nga crypto-currency. Madugay na ako nagapa-andam nga maghalong sa mga nagatanyag sang dalagko nga ganansya kon mag-invest sa Bitcoin. Sang Deciembre, gulpi lumagapak ang presyo sang Bitcoin kag madamo ang nasapwan nga hangin na lang ang ila gina-uyatan. Nakabawi ang presyo gamay, apang ang saka-panaog sang presyo sang Bitcoin nagapatimaan gid lamang sang ginatawag nga “volatility”, ukon indi masaligan kag mapaktan, nga giho sang presyo sini.

Sa America kag iban pa nga pungsod, madamo nga mga bilyonaryo ang padayon nga naga-pakamalaot sang Bitcoin kag ila ginatawag nga pangtonto. “Scam” ang tinaga nga pirmi ginagamit. Kag sining nagligad lang nga inadlaw, may isa ka kilala nga negosyante sa Amerika ang brutal nga nag-tawag sa Bitcoin nga alagyan gid lamang sang mga kriminal sa ila malain nga hilikuton.

Harris+1Basahon ninyo…

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How stupid can stupid be?

Anchor: (In Tagalog) Boracay island is now on its second day of closure to tourists, and tourists and workers in hotels and other establishments have started leaving the island since yesterday. Our reporter is live from Boracay to give us a situationer report on what is going on. Reporter Juan, please come in.

Reporter Juan: That’s right, Boracay has suddenly become a ghost town as thousands of tourists left the island yesterday on the first day of closure. Workers are also leaving the island after their establishments heeded the order of President Duterte and allow an inter-agency task force to start rehabilitation efforts. With us right now is Pedro, who is one of the displaced workers, and is now packing up his things to leave the island. Sir, does your boss still intend to keep his place open (for the duration of the island closure)?

Now, isn’t that a stupid question? What business owner would keep his place open, paying salaries of his workers for six months when there would be no tourists to patronize their hotel or restaurant?

Radio networks should provide training for their reporters and anchors to avoid embarrassing situations like this.

Iloilo’s tres Marias

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to disclose to the public the names of 211 barangay captains who are allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade. I’m wondering if the three barangay captains in Iloilo City — all women — whose names have been linked to illegal drugs are included in the list. They are Keith “Dabing” Espinosa of Barangay Monica-Blumentritt, Remia Prevendido-Gregori of Barangay Bakhaw, and Noemi Hablo of Barangay Desamparados.

Espinosa is the wife of Jing Jing Espinosa, who is now serving a prison sentence for the shooting and wounding of an unarmed individual in his barangay more than a decade ago. Jing Jing was reputed to be a right hand man of the slain drug group leader Melvin “Boyet” Odicta, also known in Iloilo as “Dragon”.

Gregori is the sister of another drug group leader, Richard Prevendido, who was also killed in a police raid on Sept. 1, 2017. Her son, Bonifacio Gregori, is now in jail facing drugs charges. Her barangay is notorious as a lair for illegal drugs distribution.

Hablo’s deceased husband, Rusty, was a suspected drug peddler. He fled to Mindanao at the height of the tokhang operations of the police. But he was apprehended there in Mindanao; while in prison, he suffered from a nervous breakdown, and was reported to have committed suicide.

Boracay closure not only for rehab, but also for public safety

Tomorrow (April 26, 2018), what tourists had known as the paradise island will be closed to visitors, at least for six months to allow rehabilitation work to be carried out without hindrance. This is bite-the-bullet treatment imposed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte after an inter-agency task force validated the rampant violations of environmental laws and the building code in the over-congested island. Many businessmen and workers on the island protested that this measure is too harsh. “Punish only those who broke the law,” many resort owners urged.

Boracay

Government workers get ready to provide assistance to displaced workers in Boracay when it is shut down to tourists starting April 26. (Inquirer photo by Nestor Burgos)

But it’s not about finding out who did wrong and limit the fall-out to them and their employees. Boracay Island is now an ICU patient from the environmental point of view. Pictures emerging from the island last week showed the green algae growth on the beaches has gone up, an indication that the coliform level in the water has reached a dangerous point.

Hence, this closure is not only about a clean-up; it’s also protecting the tourists from possible diseases caused by coliform bacteria. It’s a public health issue that should not be ignored in favor of protecting businessmen and workers from the economic losses the closure will bring.

Showdown

Last week, radio reporter Febe “Bords” Morales of Aksyon Radyo 720 posted on his Facebook wall a photograph of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. chatting with former 4th District Board Member Mitch Monfort-Bautista with her husband at the Capitol. It was made to look like Aksyon Bords stole a picture through a small opening of the door. But it wasn’t really a scoop; it was a deliberate media leak hatched at the Capitol to show a possible alliance between the Defensor family and Mitch Monfort, daughter of the late Cong. Dr. Narciso Monfort, in the next elections. Far from being kept a secret, the meeting was intended to be leaked to send a message to Dr. Ferj Biron, M.D., the incumbent congressman of the 4th district who is poised to run for Governor against Rep. Arthur “Toto” Defensor, Jr. in the May 2019 elections.

mitch monfort with defensor

Photo credit: Febe “Bords” Morales of Aksyon Radyo Iloilo

From what we are seeing, there is no more turning back for Defensor and Biron. Biron is reportedly fielding one of his sons to replace him as congressman, and the meeting between Gov. Defensor and Mitch Bautista is an indication she will run again and challenge the son. She ran and lost to Biron in the May 9, 2016 elections. Defensor is now sending a message to Biron that the latter’s turf will face a tough challenge. And we can expect Defensor to put up candidates for Congressman and municipal mayors in other districts.

Early on, Biron has started courting the support of the congressmen and municipal mayors in the province. A year ago, Defensor Sr. and his son, along with Representatives Arcadio Gorriceta, Biron and Raul “Boboy” Tupas agreed to field a consensus candidate to represent their alliance. Biron was able to gather the commitment of support of most of the municipal mayors in the province. He was quick to claim the title as consensus candidate. But Defensor Sr. backtracked on his commitment for a consensus candidate and announced the candidacy of his son.

It’s still a good one year before the elections are held for Governor, but the protagonists can now be narrowed down to just the two: Biron and Toto Defensor. Cong. Oscar Richard Garin Jr. of the 1st District had initially shown interest in becoming the third force in the equation. The controversy over the Dengvaxia vaccine, however, in which his wife Janette played a key role (she was listed as among the former public officials to be charged criminally by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee) doused cold water on his plans. He has since kept quiet on the gubernatorial race.