© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO) http://newsflash.org


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

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

BY ERWIN TULFO: PNoy administration more corrupt than GMA's govt
[In the same way that a drug addict cannot do away with his fix, these pork barrel addicts shrewdly got around the SC landmark rulings to keep their loot. Noynoy’s administration has, in fact, outdone and outperformed Gloria Arroyo’s in terms of lascivious leakages in the national treasury.]


OCTOBRE 12 -AQUINO: ABAD IS MY 'APOLINARIO MABINI' IN DAANG MATUWID COMPOSITE PHOTO FROM THE TRIBUNE OCTOBER We’ve been saying it all along. Noynoy Aquino, Butch Abad and associates have circumvented provisions of the Constitution that laid down basis to the Supreme Court (SC) rulings outlawing pork barrel. The High Court declared unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in November 2013 and the Disbursement Acceleration Program in July 2014. Instead of heeding the SC rulings, Noynoy and his cohorts merely changed the labels of and concealed the congressional and presidential pork barrel items in the railroaded 2014 and 2015 national budgets. In the same way that a drug addict cannot do away with his fix, these pork barrel addicts shrewdly got around the SC landmark rulings to keep their loot. Noynoy’s administration has, in fact, outdone and outperformed Gloria Arroyo’s in terms of lascivious leakages in the national treasury. Like sex-starved perverts, the “bright heads” in the Palace and the stamp-pad 16th Congress raped and ravaged the nation’s coffers, making the national budget balloon to trillions of pesos and sinking us deeper in foreign debt. That is why the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) has asked the Supreme Court to stop the shameless fleecing of public funds, including Noynoy’s pork barrel. In petitioning the SC for a temporary restraining order (TRO), Philconsa cited the “scandalous and unconscionable freight” of P424-billion lump sums that were “cleverly embedded” in nine departments, including two agencies directly under the Office of President.READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: U.N. Membership of convenience
[Being a member state of the UN is a matter of commitment, not convenience, and it is regrettable that it takes being the subject of unfavorable international headlines to drive that message home to the country’s leadership.]


OCTOBER 11 -CARTOON COURTESY OF Manila Standard Today Editorial | Oct. 12, 2015 WE are disappointed, but not surprised, at the findings of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in the case of former president and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Disappointed, because formal criticism by the world body is a stain on the reputation of the Philippines that could have easily been avoided. Not surprised, because for more than four years the cruel and unreasonable treatment of Rep. Arroyo by the vindictive Aquino regime has been clear to all. According to the UN working group, the detention of former President Arroyo is “arbitrary and illegal under international law.” The working group also found that the charges – none of which have prospered or even been vigorously pursued in the courts – lodged against Arroyo were “politically motivated,” and that she is detained “as a result of the exercise of her right to take part in government and the conduct of public affairs’ and ‘because of her political … opinion.”  In view of all that, the UN working group recommended that the Sandiganbayan reconsider Arroyo’s request for bail, and further “to accord Ms Arroyo with an enforceable right to compensation … for the deprivation of liberty which already occurred,” as well as to conduct a fair trial “without delay and consistent with international human rights law.”  Furthermore, the UN body criticized the Aquino government for its habit of defying court rulings, noting that Arroyo was prevented from leaving the country in 2011 to seek medical treatment abroad, despite the Supreme Court having ruled invalid a travel ban against her. Predictably, the current regime responded with callous dismissal of the findings, suggesting in impolite terms that the UN keep its opinions of “an internal matter” to itself, and offering the bald rebuttal that the former president’s treatment is neither illegal nor unfair. The UN body’s findings on the case of Mrs. Arroyo were correct, and the reason why they were correct was because they were based on well-established, consistent global standards on protection of human rights. It is not the first time a UN body has been critical of the Aquino government in that respect – most recently, the world body expressed concerns over the plight of the Lumads in Mindanao – but the government continues to assert that its view of what is right and proper should be respected, stressing the point that the UN has no authority to dictate how the Philippines runs its own affairs. Yet when the Aquino government needs the UN’s help, such as in the dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea, it is quick to seek it and to proclaim loudly to everyone who will listen that whatever the UN decides should be followed unquestioningly. READ MORE...

ALSO By Yen Makabenta: The last to file could be first
[So the last shall be first, and The first last; for many be called, But few chosen. –St. Matthew’s Gospel Verse20:16 New Testament of the Holy Bible. If Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the presidency yesterday, just in time to beat the Oct. 16 deadline, she will be the last natural-born Filipino politician to enter the race. She will round up to four the personages who will seriously contest the presidency in the May elections next year.]


OCTOBER 16 -
I was afraid that if Senator Miriam would not push through with her candidacy, we would be facing next year an election of false choices, wherein the candidates we would be compelled to choose from are all running under false pretenses; viz, • Mar Roxas running with a hand-me-down agenda from President Aquino — the misnamed “Tuwid na Daan” (straight path) program of government – and the daunting challenge of defending on the campaign trail the appalling record of BS Aquno . Vice President Jejomar Binay running like a Christlike figure, carrying a cross of persecution on his shoulders, and the Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales playing Pontius Pilate. Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares running for president, as though she fulfills all the consitutional qualifications for the presidency (including being a natural-born Filipino) and possesses the even more stringent professional and intellectual requirements for the job.
With the three hobbled by a handicap, there was a chance that the field could be reduced to two candidates, or even just one. When news finally came yesterday of Miriam’s filing her COC, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Miriam, I am convinced, would bring credibility and gravitas to the 2016 election. She would force the candidates to debate the issues. And she would force Filipino voters to look for substance, not show, in the candidates. Propelled to the front rank of contenders There was some drama up to the end whether the lady would file her COC as she intimated earlier. There were questions about her physical fitness for even just filing her candidacy papers. Now that her COC has been accepted and certified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), she is officially, and for better or for worse, a candidate for president. Now that she has chosen Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr as her running mate for the campaign and elections, she has propelled herself into the front ranks of the presidential contenders. If their campaign comes together as planned, and rallies thousands, perhaps even millions to their cause, the Biblical promise could come to pass. Miriam, with her masteral degree in theology, may just be the type who would think that being the last to file her COC is an advantage. A parable of equality in heaven CONTINUE READING....

ALSO By Efren Danao: Day of reckoning fast approaching


OCTOBER 16 -By Efren Danao -THE impunity being enjoyed by President BS Aquino The Last and his Yellow minions should end once a new administration and a new Congress are installed in 2016. Malacañang has been ignoring the Supreme Court decisions against the Disbursement Acceleration Program and the pork barrel because it believes that the President is the supreme authority on what is legal and what is not. Misuse and abuse of government funds have gone unabated because there’s no opposition strong enough to stop these. This problem is exacerbated by Yellow media that echo everything emanating from Pasig. The electorate has to stop these things – and the next administration and next Congress should see to it that those responsible will be held accountable. There will be no accountability as long as die-hard Liberals will hold sway again. And among the die-hards, the most prominent in the Senate is reelectionist Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd, chairman of the blue ribbon committee that lost its luster under his chairmanship. Guingona was named head of this panel to serve as rear guard against any charges that might be levelled against the Aquino administration. In my decades-long coverage of the Senate, I had never seen a chairman of the blue ribbon as subservient to Malacañang as Guingona. Early in his chairmanship, he had already declared that charges of anomalies similar to those made against the previous administration would no longer be possible against the Aquino administration with its “tuwid na daan.” He was fast in making conclusions on charges against alleged misuse of the pork barrel by opposition senators but he has steadfastly refused to invite Budget Secretary Butch Abad for details on the use of “pork” and the DAP during the Aquino administration. To this date, he still has to start an inquiry into the allegedly missing Malampaya funds reportedly worth billions of pesos although Sen. Jinggoy Estrada has been calling for the probe about two years ago. Perhaps, Guingona will make the motions of conducting an inquiry into the Malampaya fund but with Congress on campaign mode, he could give as excuse the limited time in making a complete inquiry. The only way for the Senate to find the whole truth about this and other questionable use of government funds is to keep Guingona out of the Senate. He has already done enough damage to this institution. The senatorial slate of the administration has some candidates who are independent-minded, like Sen. Ralph Recto and former Sen. Ping Lacson. I’m sure that should full details on anomalies under the present administration will come to light, Recto and Lacson won’t stand in the way of a legislative inquiry. Incidentally, I find it disconcerting that Sen. Bongbong Marcos, a candidate for vice president, has declared his opposition to any move to bring charges against the Aquino administration. Erap Estrada was charged with plunder; Aquino is orchestrating the charges against his predecessor, so why shouldn’t Aquino be accountable after his term if warranted? Oh yes, who believes BS Aquino when he said that the Philippines could be a First World country should his reforms be continued?  READ MORE...


ALSO By R. Tiglao: How SWS and Pulse Asia have been fooling us, and undermining democracy


OCTOBER 18 -
by RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO First of two parts Pollsters Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia have been fooling us with their pseudo-scientific opinion surveys. Their polls distort the real state of public opinion on certain issues and people’s current preferences for candidates in an electoral contest. This is because they conceal the fact that there is a huge percentage of respondents who do not really have opinions on topics they are asked about, or in the case of their presidential voter preference polls, have not decided yet on which candidate to vote for many months before Election Day.
Consider how SWS and PulseAsia have fooled us with their voter-preference polls in the 2010 presidential elections and for the coming 2016 balloting: horse-race220151019Focus on the “undecided” figure: the three different surveys report that only 2 to 3 percent of Filipinos about six months before Election Day had not decided who to vote for. Think how preposterous that is: 97 to 98 out of 100 Filipinos had already decided who they will vote for, months before the election? This even goes against your common sense and experience: Ask your staff, boss, or friends if they have made their choices for the top posts, and I’ll bet you dinner four out of five will tell you they haven’t decided. Have you, dear reader, decided and won’t change your mind? One pollster kindly responded to my queries on this flaw of opinion polling when he disclosed that his firm, per request of their clients and on a confidential basis, had asked the question whether the respondents would still change their minds on their voting preferences. The result was that 35 to 40 percent said they might still change their preferences. That question is really a proxy for the more proper question respondents should have answered first: Have you already decided on which candidates to vote for on Election Day? This basic flaw of voter-preference polls have long been known in the US and elsewhere, so that in many countries such polls are totally banned (as in Singapore) or banned for a certain period of time before elections (France and Italy). Few broadsheets in the West, in fact, report such polls on their front pages, much less – as is the prevalent practice here – make them the banner headline for the day. The founder of modern opinion polling, George Gallup, himself pointed out this flaw in 1947, early on in the development of that business. He proposed that this flaw be corrected by requiring as a first step (in what he dramatically called a “quintamensional plan”) any poll, for the respondent to be asked if he has heard of the issue, or has an opinion on it, before he is asked to respond to a question on it. If the respondent says no, he is automatically excluded from the pollsters’ sample. Gallup Poll itself undertook in 2007 a variation of this procedure when, in conjunction with the usual poll, it had a special one in which it asked first if the respondent had decided or was still unsure of which candidate to vote for as US President. CONTINUE READING...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

PNoy administration more corrupt than GMA’s govt


OCTOBER 11-BY ERWIN TULFO

MANILA, OCTOBER 19, 2015
(MANILA TIMES)
by ERWIN TULFO -We’ve been saying it all along. Noynoy Aquino, Butch Abad and associates have circumvented provisions of the Constitution that laid down basis to the Supreme Court (SC) rulings outlawing pork barrel.

The High Court declared unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in November 2013 and the Disbursement Acceleration Program in July 2014.

Instead of heeding the SC rulings, Noynoy and his cohorts merely changed the labels of and concealed the congressional and presidential pork barrel items in the railroaded 2014 and 2015 national budgets.

In the same way that a drug addict cannot do away with his fix, these pork barrel addicts shrewdly got around the SC landmark rulings to keep their loot.

Noynoy’s administration has, in fact, outdone and outperformed Gloria Arroyo’s in terms of lascivious leakages in the national treasury.

Like sex-starved perverts, the “bright heads” in the Palace and the stamp-pad 16th Congress raped and ravaged the nation’s coffers, making the national budget balloon to trillions of pesos and sinking us deeper in foreign debt.

That is why the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) has asked the Supreme Court to stop the shameless fleecing of public funds, including Noynoy’s pork barrel.


PHOTO FILE FROM FACEBOOK

In petitioning the SC for a temporary restraining order (TRO), Philconsa cited the “scandalous and unconscionable freight” of P424-billion lump sums that were “cleverly embedded” in nine departments, including two agencies directly under the Office of President.

READ MORE...

Former senator Ping Lacson said the agencies with the biggest pork barrel are the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, Department of National Defense, Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Transportation and Communications.

Among the specific unconstitutional provisions the petitioners cited in the General Appropriations Act of 2015 were Section 65 on lump sum appropriations, Section 70, which redefined “savings,” and Section 73, which allowed realignment of funds.

Philconsa, led by its president Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, along with former Budget secretary Benjamin Diokno, former senator Francisco Tatad and Archbishops Fernando Capalla, Romulo de la Cruz and Ramon Arguelles, sought the SC to issue a TRO on the allocation of lump sums.

In a full-bench session presided over by Justice Arturo Brion, the SC ordered Malacañang and Congress to respond to Philconsa’s claims in its petition in 10 days.

Earlier this month, former national treasurer Leonor Briones of anti-corruption watchdog Social Watch Philippines filed a similar petition in which case the SC also ordered the government to respond.

Abad blamed lawmakers for the existence of lump sums as they were the ones who approved his national budget scheme.

Kung ano ang lapad ng kanyang noo, yun din ang kapal ng mukha nitong si Butchiki.

It is clear and evident that there is a pattern and systematic plunder of public funds throughout Noynoy’s term.

This weekend, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the General Appropriations Act (GAA) based on Abad’s national expenditures program for the 2016 election year.

Of the 291 congressmen, only 20 voted “nay” to the exorbitant P3 trillion budget proposal for 2016.

With a number of senators running for reelection to or for higher office, the GAA is expected to pass smoothly.

The House-approved bill was left virtually untouched from the original budget proposal submitted by the Department of Budget and Management .

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares noted the presence of pork barrel or lump sums or discretionary funds amounting to P758 billion.

Wala talagang kahihiyan sa Tuwad na Daan.
* * *
We welcome your reaction, comments, complaints or exposé. Please email them to etulfo2011@yahoo.com  or personally visit us at the TV5 Field Office at 2nd Floor, Quedsa Plaza, Quezon Ave. corner EDSA, Quezon City, between 9 am-4 pm Monday to Friday.

6 Responses to PNoy administration more corrupt than GMA’s govt
Daniel B.Laurente says:
October 12, 2015 at 12:44 pm
Consider the Philippines Treasury like a dam over flowing with water. The excess water goes directly to a spillway. That;s the excess above the required dam water capacity. this excess can be utilized to irrigate farmland and also can be for generation of electicity. Thje Philippines Treasury also is over flowing due to extreme effort exerted on tax collection at all sources and levels. It resulted that our country’s budget for next year expenditures reaches to more than 3 trillions pesos which according to CRITICS exceeded as required. They have suspicions where the excess m0ney will go. Wherever it goes, it is the court that will decide not us people whose only capabilities is to speculate and convict one in Public thru the media without any iota of evidence to substantiate our accusations or if there is one, it is full of falsehood
just to ignite and trigger people’s anger and disgust. Pity these folks who really don’t get the old ways of political games played by Politicians not only locally but world wide.
Reply
ABNOY 69 says:
October 12, 2015 at 7:28 am
Let them do what they want today BUT after Pnoy expires his term, let them incarcerate same as the previous Presidents. Let them suffer same as the million of Filipino people is suffering now.
Reply
fyi says:
October 12, 2015 at 1:47 pm
Round up the senate pork barrel and house of rep thieves as well
18 senators on the Napoles list, 3 opposition senators arrested
100 house members on the Napoles list, zero arrested
Cabinet officers should go as well
Build more jails
goryu says:
October 12, 2015 at 5:40 am
Ang kapal ng mukha ng gagong NOYTARD pati na ang kanyang mga alipores.Ano kaya ang galit ng nasa itaasat pinabayaan niyang maging pangulo ang isang mapanisi,mapanuhol,mapaghigantiat tamad na ABNOY.
Reply
Rodel Barzo says:
October 12, 2015 at 12:01 am
Yan ang tuwad na daan ni Panot Pinoy. Siya ang dapat ikulong kasama ang mga alepores niyang si Abad…..
Reply
Muriel says:
October 11, 2015 at 10:51 pm
Kahindik hindik sa kasamaan at paglilinlang yang si Noy at ng kanyang mga kampon!
Reply
Leave a Reply


U.N. Membership of convenience October 11, 2015 10:47 pm


COURTESY OF
Manila Standard Today Editorial | Oct. 12, 2015

WE are disappointed, but not surprised, at the findings of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in the case of former president and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Disappointed, because formal criticism by the world body is a stain on the reputation of the Philippines that could have easily been avoided. Not surprised, because for more than four years the cruel and unreasonable treatment of Rep. Arroyo by the vindictive Aquino regime has been clear to all.

According to the UN working group, the detention of former President Arroyo is “arbitrary and illegal under international law.” The working group also found that the charges – none of which have prospered or even been vigorously pursued in the courts – lodged against Arroyo were “politically motivated,” and that she is detained “as a result of the exercise of her right to take part in government and the conduct of public affairs’ and ‘because of her political … opinion.”

In view of all that, the UN working group recommended that the Sandiganbayan reconsider Arroyo’s request for bail, and further “to accord Ms Arroyo with an enforceable right to compensation … for the deprivation of liberty which already occurred,” as well as to conduct a fair trial “without delay and consistent with international human rights law.”

Furthermore, the UN body criticized the Aquino government for its habit of defying court rulings, noting that Arroyo was prevented from leaving the country in 2011 to seek medical treatment abroad, despite the Supreme Court having ruled invalid a travel ban against her.

Predictably, the current regime responded with callous dismissal of the findings, suggesting in impolite terms that the UN keep its opinions of “an internal matter” to itself, and offering the bald rebuttal that the former president’s treatment is neither illegal nor unfair.

The UN body’s findings on the case of Mrs. Arroyo were correct, and the reason why they were correct was because they were based on well-established, consistent global standards on protection of human rights. It is not the first time a UN body has been critical of the Aquino government in that respect – most recently, the world body expressed concerns over the plight of the Lumads in Mindanao – but the government continues to assert that its view of what is right and proper should be respected, stressing the point that the UN has no authority to dictate how the Philippines runs its own affairs.

Yet when the Aquino government needs the UN’s help, such as in the dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea, it is quick to seek it and to proclaim loudly to everyone who will listen that whatever the UN decides should be followed unquestioningly.

READ MORE...

To be sure, we support the government in seeking arbitration on the West Philippine Sea issue, but we must nevertheless point out that the Aquino administration cannot have it both ways – it cannot be an abiding member of the United Nations only when it suits its needs, but be exempt from the standards that membership requires when doing so would impact its narrow political agenda. Being a member state of the UN is a matter of commitment, not convenience, and it is regrettable that it takes being the subject of unfavorable international headlines to drive that message home to the country’s leadership.

3 Responses to Membership of convenience
ren fuentes says:
October 12, 2015 at 10:00 am
under boy sisi, the phil is a member of the u.n. for convinience only. same with llamanzares, a filipino for convinience.
Reply
P.Akialamiro says:
October 12, 2015 at 3:38 am
This, and other actions of this administration, are proofs of the “Abnoy Factor”; vindictive, stubborn and insensitive. Yet, candidate Roxas talks of ‘continuing’ the “Matuwid Na Daan” which is non-existent. It’s a catch phrase, plain and simple– and means nothing.
Reply
arabof says:
October 12, 2015 at 12:40 am
And they are trying hard to elect Roxas, God help us.
Reply
Leave a Reply


The last to file could be first October 16, 2015 11:52 pm YEN MAKABENTA


by YEN MAKABENTA

So the last shall be first, and The first last; for many be called, But few chosen. –St. Matthew’s Gospel Verse20:16 New Testament of the Holy Bible

If Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the presidency yesterday, just in time to beat the Oct. 16 deadline, she will be the last natural-born Filipino politician to enter the race. She will round up to four the personages who will seriously contest the presidency in the May elections next year.

I was afraid that if Senator Miriam would not push through with her candidacy, we would be facing next year an election of false choices, wherein the candidates we would be compelled to choose from are all running under false pretenses; viz,

• Mar Roxas running with a hand-me-down agenda from President Aquino — the misnamed “Tuwid na Daan” (straight path) program of government – and the daunting challenge of defending on the campaign trail the appalling record of BS Aquno .

Vice President Jejomar Binay running like a Christlike figure, carrying a cross of persecution on his shoulders, and the Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales playing Pontius Pilate.

Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares running for president, as though she fulfills all the consitutional qualifications for the presidency (including being a natural-born Filipino) and possesses the even more stringent professional and intellectual requirements for the job.

With the three hobbled by a handicap, there was a chance that the field could be reduced to two candidates, or even just one.
When news finally came yesterday of Miriam’s filing her COC, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief.

Miriam, I am convinced, would bring credibility and gravitas to the 2016 election. She would force the candidates to debate the issues. And she would force Filipino voters to look for substance, not show, in the candidates.

Propelled to the front rank of contenders



There was some drama up to the end whether the lady would file her COC as she intimated earlier. There were questions about her physical fitness for even just filing her candidacy papers.

Now that her COC has been accepted and certified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), she is officially, and for better or for worse, a candidate for president.

Now that she has chosen Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr as her running mate for the campaign and elections, she has propelled herself into the front ranks of the presidential contenders.

If their campaign comes together as planned, and rallies thousands, perhaps even millions to their cause, the Biblical promise could come to pass. Miriam, with her masteral degree in theology, may just be the type who would think that being the last to file her COC is an advantage.

A parable of equality in heaven

CONTINUE READING...

The Biblical passage needs explication so it’s not wantonly misunderstood and misapplied.

Jesus made the statement that “many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” in His response to the disciples’ asking what reward they would have for giving up everything to follow Him (Matthew 19:27-30; Mark 10:28-31). He reiterated this truth in Matthew 20:16 at the end of the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. This statement is not, as many believe, a description of the reversal of earthly roles in heaven. There is no hierarchy in heaven wherein the poor and oppressed will rule over the rich and powerful when we get there. Nor will those believers who enjoy wealth and prestige on earth be somehow abased in heaven. Earthly rank will not automatically translate into heavenly rank.

When Jesus told the disciples they would be greatly rewarded in heaven for what they had given up on earth, He was making a contrast with the rich young ruler, who was unwilling to give up much of anything for Christ’s sake (verses 16-22). The “last” in this world—the disciples in their poverty—would be “first” in the kingdom of heaven. Conversely, the “first” in this world—the self-sufficient rich—would be the last to find the kingdom.

An intriguing and compelling tandem

Miriam Santiago and Bongbong Marcos as a tandem is intriguing and compelling.

Miriam will be making her third run for the presidency. Bongbong bears the burden of carrying the legacy of his father, President Ferdinand Marcos, and of restoring the family name to national respect and regard, after three decades of demonization by the dominant Yellow forces.

One media colleague, Dick Pascual of the Star, has called the Santiago-Marcos tandem “a game changer.”

It will fundamentally change the 2016 race, to the extent of even becoming the favorite to win it all.

I will go even farther. I believe a Santiago- Marcos teamup could become the antidote (or kryptonite) to the perpetration of wholesale cheating by Smartmatic in the May 2016 election. Individually , Miriam and Bongbong have their own respective constituencies and bases across the archipelago. They have strong records and credentials as leaders and public servants. If you combine the two in a strategic partnership for 2016, they can build a formidable national organization in a hurry. And they can attract the kind of funding to meet every challenge during the campaign.

The idea of an antidote to cheating came from a friend who specializes in political consulting. In his analysis, he said that President BS Aquino dreads being thrown in jail by the next administration, so he will do anything to put a friendly face in Malacañang, including stealing the election.

He said only a really formidable and popular team, who can command sufficient support from the people and police-military forces can stop this cheating scenario from happening.

If the team can command sizable national support, and attract enough muscle to back it up, they can deter any dark agenda to steal the election from them. People power will be the ultimate weapon.

I see the Santiago-Marcos tandem as one that can command popular support across the length and breadth of the archipelago, and enough muscle to preserve their victory. I think the people will not allow Miriam to be cheated of victory a second time around. It is a miracle that she is standing for election in 2016, having overcome a bout with cancer.

It is remarkable that this late in the day, we Filipinos have this formidable pair on whom to bestow the challenge of leading our nation to the 500th year of discovery and Christianization.


Day of reckoning fast approaching October 16, 2015 11:46 pm EFREN L. DANAO


EFREN L. DANAO

THE impunity being enjoyed by President BS Aquino The Last and his Yellow minions should end once a new administration and a new Congress are installed in 2016.

Malacañang has been ignoring the Supreme Court decisions against the Disbursement Acceleration Program and the pork barrel because it believes that the President is the supreme authority on what is legal and what is not. Misuse and abuse of government funds have gone unabated because there’s no opposition strong enough to stop these. This problem is exacerbated by Yellow media that echo everything emanating from Pasig.

The electorate has to stop these things – and the next administration and next Congress should see to it that those responsible will be held accountable.

There will be no accountability as long as die-hard Liberals will hold sway again. And among the die-hards, the most prominent in the Senate is reelectionist Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd, chairman of the blue ribbon committee that lost its luster under his chairmanship.

Guingona was named head of this panel to serve as rear guard against any charges that might be levelled against the Aquino administration. In my decades-long coverage of the Senate, I had never seen a chairman of the blue ribbon as subservient to Malacañang as Guingona. Early in his chairmanship, he had already declared that charges of anomalies similar to those made against the previous administration would no longer be possible against the Aquino administration with its “tuwid na daan.”

He was fast in making conclusions on charges against alleged misuse of the pork barrel by opposition senators but he has steadfastly refused to invite Budget Secretary Butch Abad for details on the use of “pork” and the DAP during the Aquino administration. To this date, he still has to start an inquiry into the allegedly missing Malampaya funds reportedly worth billions of pesos although Sen. Jinggoy Estrada has been calling for the probe about two years ago.

Perhaps, Guingona will make the motions of conducting an inquiry into the Malampaya fund but with Congress on campaign mode, he could give as excuse the limited time in making a complete inquiry. The only way for the Senate to find the whole truth about this and other questionable use of government funds is to keep Guingona out of the Senate. He has already done enough damage to this institution.

The senatorial slate of the administration has some candidates who are independent-minded, like Sen. Ralph Recto and former Sen. Ping Lacson. I’m sure that should full details on anomalies under the present administration will come to light, Recto and Lacson won’t stand in the way of a legislative inquiry.

Incidentally, I find it disconcerting that Sen. Bongbong Marcos, a candidate for vice president, has declared his opposition to any move to bring charges against the Aquino administration. Erap Estrada was charged with plunder; Aquino is orchestrating the charges against his predecessor, so why shouldn’t Aquino be accountable after his term if warranted?

Oh yes, who believes BS Aquino when he said that the Philippines could be a First World country should his reforms be continued?

READ MORE...

Under his watch, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and even Burma have overtaken the Philippines in terms of foreign direct investments. Their tourist arrivals are even more numerous than the Philippines’.


PNoy
: We may surpass first world nations if 'Daang Matuwid' continues PHILSTAR FILE

He should first crow about catching up with these neighboring countries before dreaming of turning the Philippines into a First World country.

If only BS Aquino The Last would find the time to meet rice farmers, he’ll stop bragging about the country’s economy. In Lupao, Nueva Ecija, my hometown, a kilo of palay now costs merely P13. How can our farmers survive at such a low price of their produce? Note that unlike other goods, the seller of palay can’t dictate the price that he wants.

The administration may point the finger at rice traders but the real culprit is the excessive importation of rice by the National Food Authority. In the main crop last year, rice traders were buying palay up to P20 a kilo, much higher than the support price of NFA.

Very few rice farmers qualify for bank loans so they borrow from financiers. There have been calls for government subsidy for fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides but these calls have fallen on deaf ears. The woes of farmers are exacerbated by the lashing of numerous typhoons. Yet, despite acknowledgements of the importance of agriculture, farmers don’t get as much attention from the administration as its billionaire friends and financiers.

Hopefully, the next administration won’t be a clone of Aquino and give higher priority to those who have less in life.


How SWS and Pulse Asia have been fooling us, and undermining democracy
October 18, 2015 10:44 pm RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO


by RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

First of two parts
Pollsters Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia have been fooling us with their pseudo-scientific opinion surveys.

Their polls distort the real state of public opinion on certain issues and people’s current preferences for candidates in an electoral contest. This is because they conceal the fact that there is a huge percentage of respondents who do not really have opinions on topics they are asked about, or in the case of their presidential voter preference polls, have not decided yet on which candidate to vote for many months before Election Day.


A quintessential banner-headline, horse-race treatment by a newspaper on false polls. (Candidates’ names and photos blocked to foil the real aim of such polls.)

Consider how SWS and PulseAsia have fooled us with their voter-preference polls in the 2010 presidential elections and for the coming 2016 balloting:

Focus on the “undecided” figure: the three different surveys report that only 2 to 3 percent of Filipinos about six months before Election Day had not decided who to vote for.

Think how preposterous that is: 97 to 98 out of 100 Filipinos had already decided who they will vote for, months before the election? This even goes against your common sense and experience: Ask your staff, boss, or friends if they have made their choices for the top posts, and I’ll bet you dinner four out of five will tell you they haven’t decided. Have you, dear reader, decided and won’t change your mind?

One pollster kindly responded to my queries on this flaw of opinion polling when he disclosed that his firm, per request of their clients and on a confidential basis, had asked the question whether the respondents would still change their minds on their voting preferences. The result was that 35 to 40 percent said they might still change their preferences.

That question is really a proxy for the more proper question respondents should have answered first: Have you already decided on which candidates to vote for on Election Day?

This basic flaw of voter-preference polls have long been known in the US and elsewhere, so that in many countries such polls are totally banned (as in Singapore) or banned for a certain period of time before elections (France and Italy).

Few broadsheets in the West, in fact, report such polls on their front pages, much less – as is the prevalent practice here – make them the banner headline for the day.

The founder of modern opinion polling, George Gallup, himself pointed out this flaw in 1947, early on in the development of that business. He proposed that this flaw be corrected by requiring as a first step (in what he dramatically called a “quintamensional plan”) any poll, for the respondent to be asked if he has heard of the issue, or has an opinion on it, before he is asked to respond to a question on it. If the respondent says no, he is automatically excluded from the pollsters’ sample.
Gallup Poll itself undertook in 2007 a variation of this procedure when, in conjunction with the usual poll, it had a special one in which it asked first if the respondent had decided or was still unsure of which candidate to vote for as US President.

CONTINUE R4EADING...

The results of the special poll changed drastically the portrayal in the usual poll that Giuliani and Romney were way ahead:


From: Moore, David, “The Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth behind the Polls,” Boston: Beacon Press, 2012.

This is what has been called by political scientists as the problem of “nonattitudes” in all opinion polling. Even an American textbook on polling (Asher, Herbert, “Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know,” 2012) pointed out: “The presence of nonattitudes is one of the simplest, yet most perplexing problems in public opinion polling … People respond to questions about which they have no genuine attitudes or opinions.”

“No distinction is made between people with real views on an issue and those whose responses are simply artifacts of being asked a question in the first place,” the book explained. “Few people in such circumstances want to admit they are uninformed, particularly on a popular or timely issue.”

Neither SWS nor PulseAsia asks that crucial question in voter-preference polls – whether the respondent has decided or not – which in effect forces them to choose, even if they haven’t really yet made a choice.

Both SWS and PulseAsia’s voter-preference questionnaires ask: “Of the people on this list, whom would you vote for as President (or Vice President) if the 2016 elections were held today.” (Emphasis mine).

But the elections are not being held on that day when they may have not yet made up their mind. Crucially, the respondents are not given this choice: “You may answer that you haven’t decided yet.” Respondents would, therefore, give off-the-top-of-their-head names, which might not necessarily be their considered choices and could change their minds about at the flip of a coin.

In such a forced-choice survey, and especially since the question is one of the 150 or so questions SWS and PulseAsia typically ask a respondent, the respondent is likely to choose a candidate he had recently seen on TV or heard over the radio.

That is why the newspaper Manila Standard recently reported that Grace Poe-Llamanzares and her running mate, Francis Escudero, were “miles ahead” in a poll it commissioned. The survey was done Sept. 21 to Oct. 1: Llamanzares and Escudero have been hogging the headlines since Sept. 16 when they launched their candidacies showbiz style. Similarly, Manuel Roxas 2nd spent P258 million on a TV ad blitz from Aug. 15 to Sept. 15, which pushed up his rating in the poll undertaken by PulseAsia from Sept. 8 to 14.

SWS and PulseAsia have been fooling us by portraying in their reports that the percentage of people who have no opinion on a topic, or who haven’t decided yet (in voter preference polls), is in their “undecided” (in SWS reports) or “Don’t know/Refused/None” (for PulseAsia) items.

This is a lie.

Responses placed in that category are those who are adamant in cooperating in any way with a pollster. It also simply represents human errors either in data gathering or in the tabulation of results, typical in any scientific inquiry gathering data and collating them.

This is the reason why in all their polls, whether they be about hunger, satisfaction with government, love, or voting preference, SWS and PulseAsia always report an insignificant percentage of respondents – typically from 2 to 4 percent — as being “undecided” or have “no response.” This is the percentage in the “undecided” or “don’t know” response in any kind of poll here or elsewhere.

Other than the 35 to 40 percent mentioned above as reported by a pollster as those who would change their minds, do we have an idea how many really haven’t decided in such voter-preference polls?

For the vote for Parliament scheduled next week in the United Kingdom, a poll found that 34 percent of voters haven’t yet decided. In Canada, which is holding its federal election on October 19, 50 percent of voters haven’t yet decided, according to a reputable poll. Despite the prime-time TV Republican and Democratic debates, only 27 percent of Americans in a poll say they are “paying attention” to the elections in November.

If we assume that 35 percent of Filipinos haven’t decided on whom to vote for, and assume that the percentages reported in the three polls above represent only those who have decided, the landscape of the 2010 contest and the 2016 poll should be:

The landscapes if one uses a more accurate 35 percent undecided, are so different from the table at the start of this column, which used an insignificant and inaccurate 2 percent undecided.

More importantly, the fact that 35 percent are undecided could more than eat up the survey’s 3 percentage points plus/minus margin of error. This makes the poll actually nearly useless, which would mean big trouble for someone like SWS President Mahar Mangahas, whose entire professional income has been based on the idea that polls really reflect public opinion.

SWS in 2010 undermined democracy by portraying that a huge number of Filipinos — 42 percent — at that early date (December 2010 ) already had chosen Benigno Aquino 3rd, when the reality was, if those undecided were properly reported, it would turn out only 27 percent did, which was within Villar’s striking distance.

horse-race620151019Moore (2012), who was a former vice president of Gallup Poll, lamented in his book that bogus pre-election polls, which do not accurately reflect the extent of the undecided, falsely create the front-runners. These consequently attract more volunteers to their campaign, stimulate contributions to their kitty, and increase their media coverage – which, in turn, raise their name-recall.

The effects of such false polls are magnified in the Philippine setting, as campaign finances are mostly donations from big businessmen, who allocate their contributions depending on candidates’ ranks in the polls.

They were fooled by Aquino’s fake lead in December, which SWS and PulseAsia maintained at the 40 percent levels in the succeeding months. Being opportunists the businessmen were, they threw their money behind Aquino, making the initial bogus poll findings of 40 percent preference a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A tool for democracy, to crystallize public opinion? Hardly. And I understand now why the late Marcos, through the Development Academy of the Philippines, had Mangahas and Felipe Miranda (who founded PulseAsia) develop the method starting in 1982.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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