Commission on Elections (Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez admitted in the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon that the agency now has only five billion pesos budget for the upcoming May 2018 village polls.
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez admitted in the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon that the agency now has only five billion pesos budget for the upcoming May 2018 village polls.
The amount was originally seven billion pesos but the agency already used five billion pesos for the printing of ballots.
But Jimenez assured that the said spending will not go to waste.
“Ang maganda diyan Kuya Daniel, yung karamihan doon sa ginastos namin noon magagamit pa natin ngayon. Ang bulto talaga niyan ay yung balota. So magagamit natin yan,” said Jimenez.
(What’s good about it Kuya Daniel is that most of the things we spent on can still be used today. The bulk of which were the ballots. We can still use those.)
However, the official said the amount paid as salary for their additional personnel remains irrecoverable.
Still, several lawmakers are pushing for the postponement of the barangay election in May but Comelec insists that they will continue to prepare for the polls.
In fact, Jimenez said that the agency is now 85% prepared and will start the printing of 18 million ballots mid-February.
Jimenez argued that another postponement of the election would definitely affect democracy in the country specifically the public’s rights to select the leaders of the land.
On top of the problems considered by the Comelec is vote buying.
When host, Daniel Razon, asked Jimenez why no vote buyer has ever been jailed by the commission, the latter said, “Medyo mahirap mapatunayan ang vote buying (Vote buying is difficult to prove).”
Another issue the agency wants to resolve is the implementation of election gun ban since they still have not received any written notice from the palace regarding the ban.
“Nawi-weaken yung institusyon, nawi-weaken yung process kasi hindi ka sure (It weakens the institution and the process because you’re not sure). Yun ang (That is the) lasting damage,” said Jimenez.
Even the Philippine National Police (PNP) said they are just waiting for the Comelec to issue its guidelines for the gun ban.
“Expected na magkakaroon ng gun ban (Implementation of a gun ban is expected),” said PNP PIO PCSupt. John Bulalacao. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
2,181 cops fired in 2 years under Duterte administration
MANILA,Philippines — The number of Philippine National Police (PNP)officers who have been dismissed from service has now reached more than 2,181 since President Rodrigo Duterte initiated internal cleansing among the agency’s ranks from July 2016 to June 2018.
“The PNP has sustained the momentum of its continuing internal cleansing program in the 190,000-strong police force over the past two years under the Duterte administration when organizational discipline and internal reform became the centerpiece of the service agenda of PNP Chief (Oscar) Albayalde,” PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Benigno Durana said in a statement.
Over 1,828 of these personalities committed serious infractions while 353 are involved in illegal drug trade.
The agency continues to cleanse its ranks of scalawags in an effort to end corruption and proliferation of illegal drugs in the country. — UNTV News & Rescue
Ex-poll chief defends Comelec over fraud allegations
Former Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes (third from the right)
PASAY CITY, Philippines – Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes and a poll watchdog engaged in a heated argument on Monday (August 6) during a Senate inquiry on the alleged irregularities in the 2016 national elections.
Brillantes questioned the claims of Poll watchdog Tanggulang Demokrasya that the election was rigged citing an image presented by Atty. Glenn Chong, the accuser of the poll irregularities, on alleged selling of voters’ database in 2015.
“Ang nagbebenta po nito dating election officer ng Maragondon, Cavite ( A former election officer in Maragondon, Cavite is selling [voters’ database]),” said Chong.
But Brillantes urged the group to present more credible evidence to prove their claims.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III suggested that Comelec should investigate the matter as he has been receiving reports from different parts of the country about the alleged ballot selling.
“May mga nagbanggit sa akin, taga Nueva Ecija, taga Iloilo, na inaalok ng kung anu anong mga sistema na imbestigahan talaga ng Comelec iyan (People from Nueva Ecija and Iloilo have mentioned to me about different systems being offered that Comelec really should investigate.) ,” Sotto said
Sotto said he will force the poll body to disclose its audit logs to determine the transmission activities involving the vote counting machines prior to the election day and to confirm if there was any irregularity that happened.
“The Office of the Senate President, thru the Committee will issue subpoena duces tecum,” he added.
The issue remained unresolved as there are still a lot of things that the Comelec should explain regarding the allegations, according to Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms Chairman Aquilino Pimentel III.
“Marami talagang pangyayari na dapat ipaliwanag ng Comelec (Comelec has a lot to explain). Some maybe glitch but still we need an explanation from the Comelec, bakit nangyayari ito (why these things are happening),” he said. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo
Police nab 2 Japanese, 6 Filipino illegal recruiters in QC
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Two Japanese nationals and six Filipinos were arrested in Quezon City on Friday (July 20) for large-scale illegal recruitment.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said the suspects allegedly recruit applicants to Japan via “direct hiring” through a language school named Kansai Care Training Center. The group asks P30,000 each victim for a Nihonggo language training which they say is a prerequisite for a caregiver job in Japan.
A victim said the group promised to send him to Japan this July but after the first schedule lapsed, the center vowed to include him in the September batch.
“Kami po ay taga-probinsya…Nagbigay po sila ng pangako na magandang trabaho sa Japan kapalit ng pagaaral sa kanila ng Nihonggo at pagproseso ng dokumento sa pagpapaalis sa amin,” said alias Rolly, one of the victims.
The entrapment team launched the operation at 1:45 p.m. today after the suspects demanded an additional P12,000 from four of the victims allegedly as processing fee.
CIDG-Anti Transnational Crime Unit (ATCU) Chief PSupt. Roque Merdegia Jr. said the suspects’ modus operandi is known as “enrolment to employment scheme” and the alleged language center is not a registered agency under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
The suspects will face charges of economic sabotage, illegal recruitment and estafa.
“It’s a non-bailable offense,” Merdegia concluded. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo