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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

EDITORIAL: COMELEC REVIEW SHOULD REMOVE ALL DOUBTS ABOUT POLL MACHINES


We welcome the efforts of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) under its new Chairman Andres Bautista to remove any doubts that may have been raised in the past against thePrecinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines. It has scheduled a review of the local source codes to be used in the automated election system to be used in the 2016 presidential elections. Eight groups, including the principal political parties with candidates in 2016, along with citizens organizations Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and Center for People Empowerment in Governance, have already applied to participate in the source code review. The Comelec is inviting other groups, particularly those with the technical capability, to join in the review. The new Comelec’s openness to efforts to ensure confidence in automated elections contrasts with previous actions and decisions of that poll body. In the previous election, there was a dispute over the source code – that it was never opened to review as required by law – as well as other mandatory precautions such as signatures for the machines to ensure the integrity of the transmitted results. The doubts over the use of the PCOS machines were such that several organizations proposed a hybrid system – manual counting with electronic transmission – so that people could watch their votes being counted, instead of the machines just spewing them out. Hybrid voting, however, has been rejected in view of the automated election law, Republic Act 8436, that did away with manual canvassing. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: Synod on Family: Pope calls for compassion, acceptance, mercy


The eyes of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, including 85 million Filipinos, are now on the Synod on the Family being held at the Vatican, attended by 270 bishops from around the world, including 74 cardinals. Pope Francis opened the Synod last Sunday, with our own Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle with him on the dais with other Synod officials.
This Synod is a sequel to the Synod of Bishops held in October, 2014, which discussed a number of issues, among them homosexuality, same-sex relationships, unmarried couples, and civil marriages of couples one or both of whom are divorced. A year of reflection has followed that Synod and now the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is continuing the discussion on the same issues.As in 2014, this gathering of Church leaders is seen by some as a confrontation between conservatives, who insist that it reassert Church doctrine on homosexuality and the indissolubility of marriage, and progressives who seek a more merciful approach to family problems such as those faced by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. Pope Francis urged the bishops to set aside all personal prejudices and listen to one another, without judgments, finger-pointing, or a sense of superiority. “And may the Holy Spirit guide us, illuminate us,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: World Hospice and Palliative Care Day


BULLETIN EDITORIAL CARTOON FOR OCTOBER 11, 2015 -
World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (WHPCD) is a unified day of action organized by the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA) to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. WPCA is an international non-governmental organization focusing on hospice and palliative care development worldwide. It is a network of national and regional hospice and palliative care and affiliate organizations. The WHPCA is registered in the UK where its secretariat staff is currently based. Observed every second Saturday of October, WHPCD aims to share the vision of increasing the availability of hospice and palliative care throughout the world. It seeks to heighten awareness and understanding of the needs – medical, social, practical, spiritual – of people living with a life-limiting illness and their families. It raises funds to support and develop hospice and palliative care services around the world. WSHPCD 2015 focused on the theme “Hidden Lives/Hidden Patients” to draw attention to patients living in unique conditions that often struggle with access to palliative care, including children, LGBT individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), prisoners, soldiers, and those living in rural settings. READ MORE...

ALSO by Jullie Yap Daza: Joker Arroyo


JOKER Years ago when I told Joker Arroyo that our mutual friend had passed away in the US, his reply was, “I shall pray for her. God listens to sinners.” After his sexy sixties, Joker looked like a mischievous pope with his haircut, a perfect nest of silvery white hair on which to perch a papal skullcap. Not long afterward, and assuredly not as a reaction to that observation, Joker made a declaration that titillated Catholics but not necessarily the state (there was no report of a follow-up or feedback from the Philippine embassy in the Holy See). He had called the attention of Benedict XVI pleading for one more Filipino cardinal to be named from among the 80 million Catholics who deserved to be served by more than three princes of the Church. Joker was not a religious or pious person but that was the way he was, a well-rounded lawyer who had a soft spot for the underdog, victims (especially of human rights abuses), and the fairer sex (he did not believe they were the weaker gender). He had a sense of humor but no time for fools. He chose his words to cut – the sarcasm dripping from his lips or press statements was painfully funny, and oh, how he relished dishing out comments like “a government run like a student council,” half-expecting students to feel insulted, but wasn’t that the point of the exercise? News of his passing was a great shock to me, coming as it did on the heels of the showing of Star Cinema’s Etiquette for Mistresses, based on the book that – as I keep repeating to those asking why such a book – Joker was to take both credit and blame for. Yes, Joker. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Editorial: Comelec review should remove all doubts about poll machines


MANILA, OCTOBER 12, 2015
(MANILA BULLETIN)
October 10, 2015 -We welcome the efforts of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) under its new Chairman Andres Bautista to remove any doubts that may have been raised in the past against thePrecinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines. It has scheduled a review of the local source codes to be used in the automated election system to be used in the 2016 presidential elections.

Eight groups, including the principal political parties with candidates in 2016, along with citizens organizations Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and Center for People Empowerment in Governance, have already applied to participate in the source code review. The Comelec is inviting other groups, particularly those with the technical capability, to join in the review.

The new Comelec’s openness to efforts to ensure confidence in automated elections contrasts with previous actions and decisions of that poll body. In the previous election, there was a dispute over the source code – that it was never opened to review as required by law – as well as other mandatory precautions such as signatures for the machines to ensure the integrity of the transmitted results.

The doubts over the use of the PCOS machines were such that several organizations proposed a hybrid system – manual counting with electronic transmission – so that people could watch their votes being counted, instead of the machines just spewing them out. Hybrid voting, however, has been rejected in view of the automated election law, Republic Act 8436, that did away with manual canvassing.

READ MORE...

The scheduled review of the source codes will go a long way in relieving any doubts about the old PCOS machines as well as the newer Vote Counting Machines (VCM) and Consolidated Canvassing System (CCS) that will be used in the coming elections.

The source code review will start October 12 at De la Salle University in Manila. The first phase of the review involves baseline source codes. Other phases will follow in succeeding sessions at which all possible questions may be raised and all possible doubts must be resolved.

Other ways the election machines may be subverted must be examined in open discussion and precautions taken. So that by the time we turn out to vote on May 9, 2016, we are all assured that we will be having truly clean and honest elections.


Editorial: Synod on Family: Pope calls for compassion, acceptance, mercy October 11, 2015


The eyes of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, including 85 million Filipinos, are now on the Synod on the Family being held at the Vatican, attended by 270 bishops from around the world, including 74 cardinals. Pope Francis opened the Synod last Sunday, with our own Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle with him on the dais with other Synod officials.

This Synod is a sequel to the Synod of Bishops held in October, 2014, which discussed a number of issues, among them homosexuality, same-sex relationships, unmarried couples, and civil marriages of couples one or both of whom are divorced. A year of reflection has followed that Synod and now the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is continuing the discussion on the same issues.

As in 2014, this gathering of Church leaders is seen by some as a confrontation between conservatives, who insist that it reassert Church doctrine on homosexuality and the indissolubility of marriage, and progressives who seek a more merciful approach to family problems such as those faced by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

Pope Francis urged the bishops to set aside all personal prejudices and listen to one another, without judgments, finger-pointing, or a sense of superiority. “And may the Holy Spirit guide us, illuminate us,” he said.

READ MORE...

During his recent visit to the United States, Pope Francis, speaking before bishops in Philadelphia, said, “A Christianity which does little in practice, while incessantly explaining its teachings, is dangerously unbalanced.” Thus, in so many words, he told the church leaders to adopt a more “pastoral approach” and respond to the needs of Catholics in the modern world. He repeated this call to the bishops at the opening of the Synod at the Vatican when he urged them to “seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy.”

At the end of the Synod of Bishops last year, a report was drawn up and it is now the working paper of the current Synod on the Family. Then at the end of this Synod, that working paper will be voted upon, but the final word will be the Pope’s. The Universal Church looks forward to this final word of the Synod which may well affirm Pope Francis’ mission of compassion, acceptance, and mercy.


EDITORIAL:

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day October 9, 2015


BULLETIN EDITORIAL CARTOON FOR OCTOBER 20


World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (WHPCD) is a unified day of action organized by the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA) to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world.

WPCA is an international non-governmental organization focusing on hospice and palliative care development worldwide. It is a network of national and regional hospice and palliative care and affiliate organizations. The WHPCA is registered in the UK where its secretariat staff is currently based.

Observed every second Saturday of October, WHPCD aims to share the vision of increasing the availability of hospice and palliative care throughout the world. It seeks to heighten awareness and understanding of the needs – medical, social, practical, spiritual – of people living with a life-limiting illness and their families. It raises funds to support and develop hospice and palliative care services around the world. WSHPCD 2015 focused on the theme “Hidden Lives/Hidden Patients” to draw attention to patients living in unique conditions that often struggle with access to palliative care, including children, LGBT individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), prisoners, soldiers, and those living in rural settings.

READ MORE...

Approximately 70 countries take part annually in the celebration with activities ranging from public awareness raising campaigns to advocacy with policy makers to fund-raising events and public launches. One of the major events that takes place every two years on WHPCD is a wave of concerts of Voices for Hospices, a choir whose mission is to support, through music, the work done by hospices.

In the Philippines, a major activity held on WHPCD is “Wounded Healer 11: Hidden Lives, Hidden Patients,” a post-graduate course on palliative care designated for nurses hosted by the Soccsksargen Oncology Nurses Association.

It is primarily aimed at introducing the nursing staff to the core principles of caring for terminally ill patients. It focuses on the role of nurses in providing care during advanced illness, through the process of dying, and in the respectful care of the dead person.

We greet the World Palliative Care Alliance, its officers, staff and members on the occasion of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2015.


Joker by Jullie Yap Daza October 9, 2015


JOKER

Years ago when I told Joker Arroyo that our mutual friend had passed away in the US, his reply was, “I shall pray for her. God listens to sinners.”

After his sexy sixties, Joker looked like a mischievous pope with his haircut, a perfect nest of silvery white hair on which to perch a papal skullcap. Not long afterward, and assuredly not as a reaction to that observation, Joker made a declaration that titillated Catholics but not necessarily the state (there was no report of a follow-up or feedback from the Philippine embassy in the Holy See). He had called the attention of Benedict XVI pleading for one more Filipino cardinal to be named from among the 80 million Catholics who deserved to be served by more than three princes of the Church.

Joker was not a religious or pious person but that was the way he was, a well-rounded lawyer who had a soft spot for the underdog, victims (especially of human rights abuses), and the fairer sex (he did not believe they were the weaker gender). He had a sense of humor but no time for fools. He chose his words to cut – the sarcasm dripping from his lips or press statements was painfully funny, and oh, how he relished dishing out comments like “a government run like a student council,” half-expecting students to feel insulted, but wasn’t that the point of the exercise?

News of his passing was a great shock to me, coming as it did on the heels of the showing of Star Cinema’s Etiquette for Mistresses, based on the book that – as I keep repeating to those asking why such a book – Joker was to take both credit and blame for. Yes, Joker.

READ MORE...

On the morning that my column came out with that “Etiquette” headline sometime in 1992, from out of the blue I got a call from the senator in his Senate office wanting to know, “What have you done? They’re all reading your rules for mistresses.” Before I could plead noble intentions, he said with dead-serious earnestness, “You’ve a bestseller on your hands.” Prophetic words. Two other gentlemen friends said the same thing hours later.

Who was I to spurn the advice of geniuses like Joker Arroyo, Greg Garcia, Jun Salipsip, and later on Ben Ramos? But I’ll always remember Joker as the first to smell a hit. Rest well, Joker, I can see your impish smile and that glint of malicious mischief in your eyes, under that imaginary skullcap.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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