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The Prisoner Abuse Photos Pres. Obama Doesn’t Want Us To See

May 18, 2009


Almost no comment is necessary. In this montage are 7 of the 16 images published by the U.K. Telegraph drawn from the material first aired by the Australian TV Network SBS. Read more…

Is The COMELEC Bid Process Immune From Suit?

May 17, 2009


The Commission on Elections is shrugging off fears that losing bidders in its now-behind-schedule tender for an automated election system might sue to prevent the award for the PhP11.3-B contract from pushing through. Read more…

Supposed Link of Key Bidder To FG Mike Arroyo Reported

May 16, 2009


The scenario in the ongoing bidding for the automated system intended for next year’s elections is appears to be getting murkier.

While COMELEC functionaries are insisting that they will complete the bidding for the PhP 11.3-B  undertaking by month’s end new suspicions are surfacing.

The latest crink comes from an opinion/advocacy piece in the online magazine American Chronicle by veteran journalist Mike Banos who is based in Cagayan De Oro and Zamboanga city as is executive editor of Z- Free Press.

Citing unnamed sources, Banos reports that

despite overwhelming evidence it does not have previous experience in poll automation, an Israeli-Filipino joint venture which is a surprise last minute entrant to the bidding looks like it has the inside track as the bidding process enters its final lap.

He further notes how

F.F. Cruz is a construction company with no track record in poll canvassing while Gilat Satellite Networks is an Israeli satellite defense firm with headquarters in the outskirts of Tel Aviv which designs, develops and markets satellite antennas that are used by telecommunications operators worldwide. So far, records show neither F.F. Cruz nor Gilas has ever done an election automation project nor sold a single vote counting machine in the past. The also failed to present a single voting machine to the Comelec, Congress, and the Advisory Council.

Journalist Banos quotes his sources as telling him that

an F.F. Cruz executive has boasted the F.F. Cruz-Gilat partnership is certain to win the contract due to the alleged backing of First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo. Such loose talk already reached Malacañang, and presumably President Arroyo. Administration insiders revealed that the President did not take it lightly. In fact, F. F. Cruz, as a company, is even said to be at loggerheads with the First Gentleman.

The online account in the American Chronicle is date stamped May 15 exactly one week after that YouTube video clip which showed the elderly F.F. Cruz signing a sheaf of documents inside one of the toilets in the rented office of the Commission on Elections at the Palacio Del Gobernador building in Intramuros.

Guesting this morning in the DZMM radio program of Vice President Noli De Castro, Cruz confirmed that he was indeed in that 26 second video clip.

But he told De Castro that the documents were about his firm’s other project, a facility being developed in Coron, Palawan and had been brought to him by his assistant, the burly looking man in the checkered shirt also seen in the YouTube video.

Mr. F.F. Cruz did not identify who the third male in the video is and who had filmed the video clip.

This writer has been trying to get through to representatives of the Gilat-FF Cruz group but has been unable to as of this posting.

Will There Be Elections?

May 16, 2009


COMELEC Chairman Jose Melo has quite vigorously stirred the hornet’s nest over his no elections scenario even as the head of the poll body’s bidding panels gave assurances that they are still on track in the planned selection of the technology and systems supplier for next year’s automated national elections. Read more…

The C-5 Road Controversy: Villar’s Persecution Or Prosecution?

May 15, 2009


It surely is a queer graphic coincidence that Sen. Manny Villar has been photographed with the controversial C-5 road map projected on him during his own news conference to  angrily rebut the charges that he breached ethical standards in the extension-cum-realignment of the circumferential highway. Read more…