One falso move, fiasco PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 14 February 2016 14:29

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

The El Niño destruction to crops, affecting some 860 hectares of land planted to rice, corn and assorted vegetables has reeached a staggering P17.7 in estimates.

776.24 hectares of the total damaged area stand no chance of recovery. And the estimated number of farmers in distress is estimated in the 947 mark.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said the hardest areas ared are rice fields with over 500 hectares ruined, next are cornfields with over 220 hectares damaged.

Other areas affected by the phenomenom are those those planted with assorted vegetables, banana, cassava, camote, papaya, peanut, ginger, eggplant, mungbean and squash.

The City Agricultirist’s Office continues to monitor the situation on the field an d is moving to provide the needed assistance and support to the affected farmers.

One such measure put in place is the planting of alternate crops that endure protracted dry spells.

And cloud seeding operations by the PAG-ASA and DOST start Feb. 15-28.

Japanese scientists, however said, the El Niño incidence is decreasing and is slated to end in the coming summer months.

* * * *

On the political front. Some politicians in the province of Pangasinan are crossing party lines and have shifted their support to the vice presidential candidacy of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

A prime example cited are two groups that are slugging it out for governor. Both are friends of Marcos, withe affiliations to different parties, whereas Marcos is running independent.

One is Mark Cojuangco, who is a very close family member, says Marcos. The TMT writeup missed naming the former’s rival.

Mark is the son of the highly-respected, Danding, who - turn - is Bongbong’s ninong (godfather).

Both rival groups have commitments elsewhere, but just the same, vowed their support for Marcos in the VP race.

On Wednesday, in Bangued town in Abra province, successfully brought together two clashing families - the Valeras and Bersamins.

In that forum, Marcos acted as a peacekeeper and brokered a peace pact between them..

Abra, per Commission on Elections (Comelec) records, is considered an election hotspot.

* * * *

Tough-talking ex-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been temporarily sidelined on his presidential campaign due ill-health.

He threw up in his hotel room and was admitted Thursday night at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Contrary to doctor’s advice, upon discharge from hospital Friday morning, the mayor went home to Davao. But on further advice of his doctor, Duterte skipped his meetings and campaign sorties.

His health condition was reportedly caused by migraine spells after holding sorties in Tarlac, Tuguegarao, and Metro Manila.

Duterte told newsmen, aside from migraine, bronchial infection, he is diagnosed to have spinal issues, without elaborating on it.

Asked whether his health has affected his campaign, he replied that he will surrender if the campaign lasted two years.

* * * *

The latest Pulse Asia survey shows, the overall trust and approval ratings of both President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Vice President Jejomar Binay had fallen below the 50 percent mark in January.

Aquino’s rating dropped by 6 percentage to 49 percent in January from 55 percent in December. On the other hand, Binay’s rating declined 5 percentage points to 47 percent from December’s 52 percent.

The result of the survey released on Friday also indicated that Senate President Franklin Drilon’s rating dropped by 7 percentage points to 44 percent in the January survey

Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno suffered a 4-percentage cut to 25 percent from 29 percent in December, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. the “least trusted” among the five officials, got 24 percent, 5 points lower than his 29 percent rating in December. (TMT-sourced)

* * *  *

The ceasefire between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will hold for at least another year, even as Congress failed to pass the Bangsamoro law.

The two sides doused fears of renewed violence as they agreed to extend the life of international peace monitors until March 2017.

This was announced at the first meeting of the two panels since Congress adjourned without passing the  Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Government negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and her MILF counterpart, Mohagher Iqbal, in a joint statement yesterday, expressed disappointment over Congress’ failure to pass the BBL, which is required under a comprehensive peace accord forged in 2014.

See the the word “required”? That is the root cause of all this mess. Government had signed a document, the Comprehensive Agrement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that is so shot-full of holes - provisions that even a non-lawyer, or is it a school kid, can readily see as unconstitutional.

So, would they expect Congress to swallow th bitter pill?

We all are for peace, but peace must come within reasonable grounds that are beneficial to all stakeholders.

But what seems to have saved the day is that in spite of the setback, the government and the 11,000-strong MILF agreed to extend until March 2017 the mission of Malaysia-led ceasefire monitors.

Accordingly, they also kept in place a joint group that allows the MILF to help government troops capture terrorists and outlaws.

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But is hoped that both measures would prevent any outbreak of violence stemming from rebel frustration with the delay in the peace process. (PS-sourced)

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MB reports, “The Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday deposited the three source codes of the automated election system at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), declaring the errors earlier found in the system have been corrected.”

But has anybody heard that Comelec has done any repair or even a check/asssement of the the highly sensitive source codes by a qualified/expert technician.

None that this corner ever did.

Our colncern is, so sensitivbe are those source codes as they are used for the election management system, the vote counting machines (VCM) and consolidation and canvassing system.

See, one false move, fiasco.

And what Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista simply said was, “They were able to address the problems seen in the source codes by Denver-based SLI Global Solutions, which was tapped by the poll body to certify the system.”

But when was this done and were there political and/or independent observers present as witnesses?

Saying matter-of-factly that he was informed of the codes’s verification, he mouthed, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating … so we will see tomorrow (today) how it goes. We will simulate the entire election exercise during the mock elections,” he said.

But in today’s mock polls, it was, however also reported that Comelec will not use SIM cards in transmitting the voltes from the voting centers to the canvassing centers and on to the national data base.

Bautista himself confirms, “I understand that we will be using BGAN for the transmission. We have to do this because the telecommunication providers were not ready with their SIM cards.  This is something we have to look at,” Bautista said.

So, how can then he say, everything is A-okay for the polls?

No lang (God forbid!)