Rappler Newscast | May 9, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The Commission on Elections opens the source code of ballot-counting machines for local review.
- The Bankers Association of the Philippines asks the Supreme Court to lift the Comelec’s money ban.
- Comelec spokesman James Jimenez says vote buying increased because of the automated election system.
Story 1: COMELEC BARES PCOS SOURCE CODE
Commission on Elections Chair Sixto Brillantes presents the source code of precinct count optical scan machines four days before the May 13 polls.
The local review of the PCOS source code begins Thursday.
Poll watchdogs have long demanded to review the code, the master blueprint of the ballot-counting machines.
Brillantes receives the code from the US-based Dominion Voting Systems, which previously blocked its release because of a legal battle with Venezuelan firm Smartmatic.
Brillantes says the source code review by political parties “is not a prerequisite” for the midterm elections.
He adds, “It will now show that these elections will be credible even to the contending political parties.”
On Wednesday, Brillantes faced the Supreme Court in oral arguments over the source code.
Namfrel chair Corazon dela Paz-Bernardo says there won’t be any time for a review of the source code.
CORAZON DELA PAZ-BERNARDO, NAMFREL CHAIR: The source code is available for review...Interested parties who may be qualified for review won't have time to do it before elections. They supposedly could do it before. That’s a contention. So some people may want to present that to the Supreme Court.
Senatorial bet Richard Gordon told the High Court the elections should be deferred without a local source code review.
Story 2: NO 'MONEY BAN' WITHOUT AQUINO'S NOD
President Benigno Aquino says the Commission on Election can’t impose the money ban without his approval.
On Thursday, Aquino criticizes the poll body for imposing a resolution that limits cash withdrawal in an effort to curb vote buying.
Aquino says the resolution may have an adverse effect on economic activities.
He adds, "The proposal is like a shotgun approach that may stop vote buying, but will also halt a lot of activities that you don’t mean to disrupt.”
Story 3: BANKERS ASK SC TO LIFT MONEY BAN
The Bankers Association of the Philippines asks the Supreme Court to stop the Commission on Elections or Comelec from enforcing its money ban.
The association seeks a temporary restraining order from the High Court after the Comelec issued Resolution No. 9688, which limits cash withdrawals to P100,000 from May 8 to May 13.
On Thursday, the poll body amended this, exempting those who regularly withdraw more than P100,000.
Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes says it is up to the banks to decide who will get exempted.
The poll body amends the money ban after criticism from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The BSP says it was reluctant to implement the ban because it violates the country's laws on bank secrecy.
Story 4: JIMENEZ: VOTE BUYING INCREASED BECAUSE OF AUTOMATED SYSTEM
Commission on Elections spokesman James Jimenez says the 2013 midterm polls are important to demonstrate Comelec’s preparations for an automated election system.
He says voters have higher expectations after the first automated polls in 2010.
JAMES JIMENEZ, COMELEC SPOKESMAN: Now since everyone's seen what went on in 2010, they have a lot of expectations, they have a lot of expectations on how it should be better, it should have been better, and as a result of that a lot of people were actively talking about it...These elections will be very important in the sense that it will prove that the first elections were not a fluke.
Jimenez says the money ban was an effort to curb vote buying. He says the resolution might have been better accepted if it was introduced gradually.
JAMES JIMENEZ, COMELEC SPOKESMAN: It might have been smarter in hindsight for the Comelec to field this suggestion softly and slowly, gradually over time, get input on it from the wider range of the public, not just people who deal with these things. But to get a feel of the society at large would react to it then perhaps it would have had a better chance.
Jimenez also says vote buying increased because of automated elections.
Poll watchdogs says the trend moved from retail to wholesale vote buying.
JAMES JIMENEZ, COMELEC SPOKESMAN: We think that vote buying really got a boost because of automated elections because they could not manipulate the results. So if you can't manipulate the results the most logical thing is to manipulate the input to the results, which is the voters.
Story 5: WILL DANDING KEEP HOLD ON NEGROS?
Business man Danding Cojuangco's hold on Negros Occidental politics is being challenged.
Carmela Fonbuena reports.
Negros Occidental is the Philippines’ sugar capital. It produces more than half of the country’s sugar output.
It is home to rich hacienderos who export sugar to Europe and the United States.
These hacienderos also control local politics under the leadership of outsider turned kingmaker Danding Cojuangco.
GENARO LIM-AO ALVAREZ: All politicians here in Negros, he treats us very fairly. He doesn’t ask for any favor. What he wants is for the good of the province. I think everybody likes him.
Elections used to be boring in Negros.
Government positions were decided not so much by the ballot, but in meetings of Danding’s party, the United Negros Alliance or UNA.
But in an unexpected twist of events, Governor Freddie Marañon decides to seek re-election, in defiance of Danding who had already anointed Vice Gov Lim-ao Alvarez as gubernatorial candidate.
ALVAREZ: The problem started when governor Maranon changed his mind because he promised that he is not running anymore.
MARANON: Only fools don’t change their mind. 19 mayors persuaded me to run.
UNA breaks apart and for the first time in history, candidates are facing serious opponents.
Allies are fighting former allies. Friends are fighting friends. Negros politics is changed.
The split puts on the line Danding’s clout as political kingmaker of the province-- which fuels his influence in national politics.
Negros Occidental’s 1.6 million voters – the country’s 4th biggest voting province – is a bargaining chip he can offer national politicians.
ALVAREZ: Even senators, they are even to the point of begging for the endorsement of the Ambassador. When you’re in local politics, here in Negros I think it’s only Ambassador Cojuangco who matters.
Marañon says he has grown his own political network, capable of defeating his former patron’s machinery.
MARANON: It’s a big challenge. It’s an uphill battle. But it’s the people that support me – the grassroots, the religious sector, the fisher folks, the farmers. Those that benefitted from my program.
The elections here is more than just a battle between two former allies now at each other’s throats.
It is a test of Danding Cojuangco’s grip on this vote-rich province.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler, Negros Occidental.
Story 6: WRAP: ELECTION NEWS
GRENADE EXPLODES AT EX-DOJ CHIEF GONZALEZ'S HOME
In Iloilo, a grenade explodes at the residence of former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez in Barangay Quintin Salas, Jaro, early Thursday.
Gonzalez says the incident could be “political harassment” because his son, Raul Jr, is running for congressman in Iloilo City against the Liberal Party’s Jerry Treñas.
2 SOLDIERS DEAD, 6 HURT IN KALINGA AMBUSH
In Kalinga, two soldiers are killed and six injured after armed men ambush a group transporting ballot-counting machines Thursday.
Members of the Philippine Army’s 17th Infantry Brigade were on their way to the towns of Lubuagan and Tinglayan when the incident occurred.
The armed men are believed to be members of the New People’s Army.
RTC ISSUES WARRANT FOR BULACAN MAYORAL BET
In Bulacan, the Regional Trial Court issues an arrest warrant against San Rafael Vice-Mayor Cipriano Violago in connection with the murder of Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Group operative Rafael Bartolome in May last year.
An initial police report at the time of the killing says Bartolome was "set-up" and killed after he responded to a friend’s call inside a subdivision.
VOTE-BUYING COMPLAINT FILED VS VILLAFUERTE SLATE
In Camarines Sur, three witnesses file a vote-buying complaint against the Villafuerte slate.
The witnesses say local candidates of the Nationalist People’s Coalition distributed envelopes containing money during a campaign sortie on Monday.
Villafuerte is running for governor of Camarines Sur.
'WE MAY KILL HER IF SHE WERE WINNABLE'
In Leyte, Re-electionist Baybay Mayor Carmen Cari denies allegations her family is involved in the failed assassination of her rival, United Nationalist Alliance candidate Marilou Galenzoga.
In a press conference, Cari says, "Why will we kill her? Maybe if she [was] winnable."
Galenzoga claims Cari’s son sent men to kill her on Monday.
She is the Cari family’s first political challenger in 32 years.
CALOOCAN REP'S STAFF STOLE COMELEC FILES?
In Caloocan, police arrest alleged supporters of 1st district Rep Oscar Malapitan for stealing files from a local Commission on Elections office on Wednesday.
Police say the files contained the computerized voters’ list.
The 4 suspects claim they wanted to verify the names of voters on the Comelec list.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 2, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim asks Malaysians to join a nationwide protest tour against elections he said were stolen from the people.
Speaking to supporters, Anwar says, "We will continue to struggle and we will never surrender."
The huge turnout ups the ante in the opposition’s campaign to paint the elections as a fraudulent victory for the regime that ruled Malaysia for 56 years.
At number 4, American astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, says the United States must lead the way to build a permanent settlement on Mars.
Speaking at a conference of space experts, the 83-year-old says the US needs to begin “homesteading and settlement of Mars.”
His call for US leadership in the space race to Mars lines up with plans to send the first people to Mars in the 2030s.
And at number 9, Ariel Castro, a 53-year-old former school bus driver, is charged with 3 counts of rape and 4 counts of kidnapping.
Castro is the owner of a home in Cleveland, Ohio, where the three women were rescued Monday after a decade in captivity.
The women were in their teens or early 20s when they disappeared.
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|