Smartmatic chair close media adviser of Cory? PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 14:56

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

The Ateneo De Zamboanga University is really becoming the undisputed hub for local artists. Only very recently, famed artist Icelle Borja once again displayed her array of creative works and reportedly drew in large crowds day in and day out.

To Ms Borja, congratulations, Ma’am. May your talent nurture more and more art exhibits.

And then again, the “Ateneo Center for Culture and the Arts invites the public to the opening of Zipcode 7000, an art exhibit by the Cabato family, one of Zamboanga’s established families, at 11am at the Gallery of the Peninsula and the Archipelago in Ateneo de Zamboanga University-Salvador campus in La Purisima on December 1st, 2015.” (DZT)

The exhibit is one of the activities lined up for this year’s Ateneo Fiesta celebration from November 30 to December 6, and the exhibit is the Cabato family’s first creative collaboration to provide a personal response to the ortgeist (spirit of the place) of Zamboanga.

The item continues, “Although each member of the family stems from different fields of interest, the main thread that weaves all their works together is a common rootedness to their hometown, bringing in choice ingredients of what makes Zamboanga the family’s comfort zone.”

The exhibit features varied scenes and is led by what is dubbed as the Cabato family patriarch Jun as he captures landscape photos of his favorite spots at the local golf resort.

Other contributors are Nene, Rene, Mike, Ja, and Neil.

Also on display during the exhibit are supplementary products such as postcards and coloring books bearing the artworks that will be put up for sale.    Proceeds from the sales will go to Attendee’s Recovery and Assistance Program (RAP).

Gallery hours are from Monday to Friday, 9 to 6PM and Saturday, 8AM-12N. The exhibit will run until January 16, 2016. (With reports from (DZT)

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Writing from outside the country, under the pen name Carlo Apostoli, he posted this reaction, “What sad news to hear of another killing in our City. This time of a friend who I know to be friendly and a friend to everyone. We demand a speedy investigation of the killing of Philip Jacinto Lim and the killers brought to Justice. We extend our deepest Condolence to the Family.”

Using a pen name, this corner then opts to keep his true identity to ourselves. But judging from his chosen name, one would readily decipher who he is by simply translating it to English and Spanish. Dig?

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The multi-sectoral election watchdog Reform Philippines Coalition (RFC), through its spokesman Glenn Chong, over the weekend questioned the acquisition of the new ballot boxes, saying the old ones could still serve the purpose and that it sparked fears that the May 2016 electoral exercise may be marred by fraud.

The coalition said, the purchase of such boxes by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was not only a waste of people’s money but highly questionable because 82,000 ballot boxes are in the commission’s inventory at present.

“The poll body will not only use 97,519 brand-new vote counting machines (VCMs) in the 2016 elections but also a corresponding number of new ballot boxes, raising suspicions of a “scam” in the making.” (TMT)

It questions what had happened to the 82,000 old black ballot boxes that clearly did not require to be repaired and upgraded to be interoperable with the new VCMs

As the old ones are still fit for use, there was no need to purchase an entirely new set of ballot boxes, (RFC) decried.

At best, he pointed out, Comelec should have purchased no more than 12,000 additional ballot boxes because 82,000 of the same are already available.

The ballot boxes and the VCMs are being supplied by election technology provider Smartmatic-TIM Corp.

True indeed, there is more to it than meets the eye. Read on,

Smartmatic Chairman Mark Malloch Brown was recently discovered to have been the close media adviser and speech writer of the late Corazon Aquino. Roberto D. Tiglao writes in his column, Brown was then disguised as a foreign correspondent in the “snap” elections that led to the 1986 People Power Revolution in the Philippines.

He may even have played a very crucial role in Cory Aquino’s ascend to power in 1986, according to an authoritative book on that episode, he said.

It acknowledged, Malloch Brown had developed a close relationship with Cory and his family, including his brothers-in-law.

Also, though denied by a company spokesman, he was rumored to have paid a courtesy call on President Aquino III in July this year. But the spokesman did not disclose who Malloch Brown met during his trip.

Tiglao went on, “At the end of that month, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista announced that Smartmatic, with its local affiliate Total Information Management (TIM) Corp., was awarded the P1.7-billion contract for the supply of 23,000 new precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for use in the 2016 elections. Last Thursday, the firm was also awarded a P558 million contract to provide Comelec with election results transmission services.”

And clearly, the transmission contract was negotiated and not bidded out as the Comelec declared the past two biddings to have failed, alleging the losing bidders had submitted incomplete eligibility requirements.

So that’s the long and short of it. Smartmatic and the Aquinos are lovey-doveys. It will not be a surprise if the negotiations include manipulations.

Heck ..!

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Is this for real now? It is reported, hundreds of army troopers stationed in Bicol have been deployed via C-130 military plane to Mindanao over the weekend, for a year-long tour of duty to combat threat groups particularly the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Combat the threat groups, particularly the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Nice sounding. But is it for real?

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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Another good news. This time for seniors.

The Senate has approved the allocation of P6.78 billion to cover the PhilHealth benefits of 2.8 million senior citizens in the country, Senator Ralph Recto said on Saturday.

The senate also approved the inclusion in the P3-trillion 2016 national budget of P7.5 billion required to grant P6,000 annual aid to 1,182,914 indigent elders.

The funding is called for Republic Act 10645, authored by Recto and makes mandatory the automatic PhilHealth membership of senior citizens.

The law stated that there is no need for elders to present a PhilHealth card, but only a valid identification card proving his or her identity and age, to avail themselves of PhiIHealth benefits.

Of the 6.3 million senior citizens in the country, an estimated 2.8 million are neither PhilHealth members, nor dependents of PhilHealth members. (With reports from the TMT)

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The Filipino bright boy who produced the “Tanim-Bala video game has produced yet another one. This time, it is for Duterte fans.

Released on Google Play last week, the game lets users “Help Duterte shoot the incoming villains!”

It is the invention of Manila-based Kulit Games’ 14 megabyte app, wherein Gamers need to move Rody’s character “from left to right using the dedicated arrows on the lower leftmost part of the screen, as he encounters robbers, kidnappers, corrupt politicians and the rest of the gang.”