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Wednesday, 25 May 2016 11:47

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

While Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) officials still play up the effects of El Niño, as a consumer, SS does not feel it much anymore as we did in the previous long weeks. The heavy rains that swelled rivers over the weekend may have really  increased the dam level only temporarily to above normal but the ZCWD’s rationing is not that pestering now. There is a marked increase in water supply. And seemingly, the dry spell is nearing its end. Thank God.

Pagasa is even cautioning us now of an impending La Niña.

In any case, level up water officials and employees. And, that’s the exact phrase to use - Level up.

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There is one other good occurrence these days, if you have noticed. With no fanfare and with nobody taking credit for it, our electric supply has been steady. There has been  no power outage, if there were, they very few of the irritating brown outs.

Let’s continue praying for this relieving situation to persist.

Power up, Zamcelco. Again, yes, that’s the precise word to use — Power.

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has instigated an investigation into the “unauthorized” change of the script in its transparency server by technology provider Smarmatic Corp. that so many decry as having tainted the integrity of the recent electoral process.

Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on Monday has designated Comelec Legal Department chief Norie Casingal as head of the committee to look into the grievous discrepancy.

Preliminary findings are expected to be submitted to the commission within the week, even as the entire proceedings may last two weeks.

If not because of the vigilance of Sen. Bongbong Marcos’ camp, the illegal alteration of the transparency server script, which also automatically changed its hash code, could have gone unnoticed.

It was the Marcos camp that called public attention to the sudden reversal of Marcos’ lead over closest rival, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, during the early hours of May 10, just a day after the elections.

That is where the attention of SS was called to the statement of Sen. Edgardo Angara that “the official canvassing of votes for President and Vice President will put an end to all issues regarding the May 9 elections.”

With that, SS was induced  to make this comment yesterday, “No, not will. And may, yes, for who knows that the electronically transmitted results were not tampered with as what Smartmatic had done on the evening of 9th May.”

This is the basis for the comment - Right after the tampering of the transparency server of the V CM’s the lead of Marcos dissipated drastically. Do you see the purpose for altering the results being tabulated by the Philippine Pastoral Council for Responsible Counting (PPCRV), even if the count is unofficial?

To SS, it plain and simple conditioning of the mind that Leni Robredo is the “winner”, and not Marcos.

Friends, with people’s mindset inured or trained on the Robredo “winning”, altered  results transmitted to the National Board of Canvassers will be believed.

Food for thought.

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In the meantime, Sen. Marcos on Monday said he has enough evidence and data that will indicate discrepancies during the early hours of the unofficial canvassing for the vice presidential race that need to be clarified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and technology provider Smartmatic.

In fact, his camp will be filing more criminal complaints against Smartmatic executives and an IT representative of the Comelec for their unauthorized change of the script in the transparency server of the poll body on the night of the elections.

Jose Amor Amorado, head of the Bongbong Marcos (BBM) Quick Count Center, said the charges will include a complaint for violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2010 (Republic Act or RA 10175), specifically Section 4 of Chapter II of this law, and will be filed today at the Manila Prosecutor’s Office.

Amorado noted that RA 10175 punishes offenses that affect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems, including “illegal access to any part of a computer system without right.”

According to him, they have enough evidence to pin down Smartmatic executives and Comelec IT representative based on public documents and the pronouncement by no less than the Comelec that its interference in the system had no authorization.

He said they will seek the issuance of a Hold Departure Order (HDO) against the Smartmatic executives.

With these measures in place, how else would Smartmatic and the responsible Comelec IT personnel escape imprisonment.

Smartmatic admitted that it had no written authority from the Comelec when it altered the script, which technology provider Smartmatic’s project head Marlon Garcia said was only a cosmetic change from the character ‘?’ to ‘ñ’ which appeared on some of the candidates’ names.

It maintained that the change was “innocuous” and that it did not affect the election results.

Cosmetic change? “innocuous”? My foot! In modern technology, a single clicking of a key or an icon in computers changes whatever scenario is pre-programmed.

And it is held likely that they may not in deed have official clearance from Comelec, but somewhere along the way hidden hands unofficially directed them to do so. Otherwise, technology experts as they are, they know the lawful processes in computer work and the laws pertinent thereto.

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Lawyer Dodo Dulay, writing for TMT fortifies above-cited comments, “Whatever the outcome of Commission on Elections (Comelec)’s investigation on the unauthorized changes made by Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. (Smartmatic) in the transparency server used by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), it is undeniable that the Venezuelan-owned company committed a serious violation not only of its supply contract but also of the country’s electoral laws.

Well-intentioned or not, Dulay says, the supposedly “minor” change does not justify Smartmatic tampering with the electronic canvassing system, more so while the bulk of the voting results were being transmitted to the Comelec servers.

The law and the rules are very clear – Any change in the automated election system should have the approval of the Comelec en banc. It did not matter whether the supposed script change was a harmless alteration or not.

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Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte continues to defy the Roman Catholic Church as he seeks to impose a three-child policy, putting him on a new collision course with the bishops a day after he called them “sons of whores.”

Duterte’s often outrageous comments have won him huge support and his tirades about killing criminals and a joke about a murdered rape victim do not appear to have dented his popularity in the largely Catholic country.

“I only want three children for every family,” Duterte said on Sunday in Davao City. “I’m a Christian, but I’m a realist so we have to do something with our overpopulation. I will defy the opinion or the belief of the Church.”

About 80 percent of the Philippines’ 100 million population are Catholics, the largest concentration of any Asian country, who oppose abortion and contraception.

Monsignor Oliver Mendoza, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Lingayen, whose head is the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said the Church respected Duterte’s opinion but that it would continue to speak against government policies that are contrary to Church teaching.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 May 2016 11:50