[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 10 April 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Apr 10 15:56:22 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 10 April 207 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Comelec faces complaint at SC over partylist nominees' row (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Akbayan representative Loretta Ann Rosales will take her complaint against the Commission on Elections to the Supreme Court.

Rosales said the Comelec allegedly violated a constitutional right to access public documents when she was denied anew access to the poll body's list of partylist nominees.

"For Comelec to obstruct this process, it also violates their mandate also contained in the Constitution," Rosales said Tuesday.

Rosales said the Comelec had released the partylist nominees in 2001 and 2004.

Akbayan held another picket in front of the Comelec earlier on Tuesday.

The Comelec has declared that it would only release names after elections on May 14.

Palace sees no need for 7th man in Comelec (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

MalacaÑang is not keen on filling the seventh and last commissioner's slot in the Commission on Elections. 

Chief presidential legal counsel Sergio Apostol said yesterday the appointment of a new commissioner "is not very essential" since Comelec, even with only six commissioners, can still act with dispatch on matters before it. 

Besides, Apostol said, there may be a legal obstacle for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to issue such an appointment at this stage when Congress is on a four-month recess and the Commission on Appointments is not in a position to review the appointee's credentials. 

"Whether the President appoints a seventh commissioner is not very essential because the Comelec can still function competently and credibly with its present membership," the Palace official told Standard Today. 

Apostol said the President may invoke her right to issue ad interim appointments while Congress is in recess to justify naming a new poll commissioner. But he said such appointment is likely to be questioned before the courts by administration detractors that may constrain the appointee from performing his functions effectively. 


EU to send observers to RP poll hotspots (www.philstar.com)
The European Union (EU) will be sending election observers to the Philippines for the May 14 elections. 

An EU diplomat who requested anonymity said the EU is in the process of determining the provinces where the observers, mostly from the embassies, will be sent to note the conduct of elections - though most will be deployed to identified election hotspots. 

The EU, through European Commission Director General for External Relations Eneko Landaburu, conveyed to the Philippines last February that the EU wants to see "fair, transparent, orderly and peaceful elections" in the Philippines. 

Other foreign governments expected to field election observers include the United States and Canada. 

The government earlier said Canada's travel advisory warning its nationals against large political gatherings for the May 14 elections that have "potential for violence" has no basis. 

In a briefing given by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the diplomatic corps, the government assured that the May elections will be peaceful. 

Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos told the diplomatic corps that there have been no violent incidents in political rallies and campaigns, even before Canada issued its travel advisory. 

He said that even the children of opposition senators who are running in the May elections are the "best indication of the people's trust and faith in the democratic system."


Candidates for '07 elections down to 22,000 in final count (www.philstar.com)
The total number of candidates for this year's elections dropped by almost 22,000 compared to that of the 2004 elections. 

A total of 46,003 candidates are vying for various local elective posts in the country in the coming May 14 polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced yesterday. 

Comelec Commissioner Resurreccion Borra said in a press conference at the poll body's head office in Intramuros, Manila that the number is much lower than that of the last elections, where about 68,000 candidates filed their certificates of candidacy. 

The poll body also noted that in Maguindanao province, 19 mayoralty candidates are running unopposed. 

These are in Datu Abdullah Sangki, South Upi, Pandag, Datu Paglas, Mangudadatu, Buluan, Gen. SK Pendatun, Paglat, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Unsay, Talayan, Sultan sa Barongis, Shariff Aguak, Raja Buayan, Mamasapano, Suindulungan, Datu Piang, Pagagawan and Datu Anggal Midtimbang. 

Only two towns - Pagalungan and Talitay - have opposing mayoralty candidates. 

He said that while there are other places in the country where a mayoralty candidate is running unopposed, it is interesting to note that these 19 towns are all in one province. 

Borra said that this development would somehow help ensure a peaceful election, since there would not be much political contest, which could cause election related violence. 

"If there is no contest, there is no trouble. We would have a little more peaceful elections in areas where there are fewer candidates because there would be less political battle, no intense political rivalry," Borra said.


Poll watchdog fears presence of private printer at NPO (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


An anti-fraud group on Tuesday raised the alarm on the presence at the National Printing Office (NPO) of a private printer which was allegedly involved in election anomalies in the May 2004 elections.


"A private printer previously assailed for its alleged role in the 2004 electoral fraud now operating inside the NPO is definitely a cause for alarm. This can very well be another leakage that election cheaters can take advantage of," said Fr. Joe Dizon, convenor of the anti-fraud group Kontra Daya.


Dizon was referring to the Grand C Graphics printer which entered into a contract with the NPO to help in the printing of ballots and election returns (ERs) for the May 14, 2007 elections 


The election watchdog said there were reports that Grand C Graphics printer was allegedly involved in the printing of fake ERs in 2004. The group added that other reports said the private printer was also responsible for the erroneous printing of 1,300 pads of ERs.


Dizon said the agreement between the private printer and NPO is dubious because "neither the NPO nor the COMELEC (Commission on Elections) has disclosed any details" of the agreement.

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