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UNTV bags Best TV Channel for Public Service in the 2019 Rotary Wheel Celebrity Awards

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Individual achievers and celebrities were accorded at the first Rotary Wheel Celebrity Award for Public Service held in the walled city of Intramuros on Friday (April 26).

UNTV was hailed as Best Television Channel for Public Service for its people-centered programs conceptualized by BMPI-UNTV’s CEO and president, Kuya Daniel Razon.

Among the main supporters of Kuya Daniel’s initiatives is Bro. Eliseo Soriano, the overall servant of the Members, Church of God International (MCGI).

One of UNTV’s flagship project is “Tulong Muna, Bago Balita” which primarily equips UNTV Correspondents to prioritize providing lifeline before delivering headlines.

Also among the station’s advocacy programs include UNTV Cup, a charity basketball league where participating teams get to donate their cash prizes to their respective chosen charitable institutions. Dubbed as the “League of Public Servants”, it is now preparing for its eighth season.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa Dios sa award na ito. Sa ngalan po ni Kuya Daniel Razon, maraming salamat at siyempre sa pangunahing tumutulong po ng lahat ng public service ng UNTV (kay) Bro. Eli Soriano. Tayo po ay nagbibigay ng genuine public service sa ating mga kababayan at bonus na po kung tayo ay nabibigyan ng award,” said Ms. Annie Rentoy, the station manager of UNTV’s AM Station Radyo La Verdad after receiving the award in behalf of the station.

(We thank God for this award. In behalf of Kuya Daniel Razon, thank you so much and of course, to the very first person who supports UNTV in all of its public services, Bro. Eli Soriano. We are providing genuine public services to our fellowmen and having an award like this is already a bonus.)

Rotary Wheel Celebrity Awards is a project of Rotary Club of Manila Fort Santiago in cooperation with Aliw Awards Foundation Inc, Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) and the Soroptimist International – Las Piñas Central. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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Over P12M seized from vote buying – PNP

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) admitted that vote buying was rampant in the recently concluded midterm polls.

As proof, authorities were able to seize more than P12 million from a total of 449 violators over the course of the election.

“Lahat ng nakumpiskang pera ay magsisilbing ebidensya laban sa mga na-apprehend natin na violators,” said PNP Spokesperson Police Col. Bernard Banac.

(All cash confiscated will serve as evidence against the apprehended violators.)

The highest amount seized was in Caraga region amounting to almost P8 million.

Other areas with the most number of vote buying incidents were Northern Mindanao with more than P1 million seized followed by Cagayan Valley (P561,000); Metro Manila (P541,100); and Bicol Region (P449,080).

From the 449 violators, a total of 356 were arrested, 85 persons evaded arrest while eight minors were rescued.

Most of the violators were from Metro Manila, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM); and from Regions 4a and 6.

“Wala pa tayong na-apprehend ngayon na nakakulong na sa vote buying dahil ang mga suspects at violators ay na-release for further investigation,” Banac said.

(None of those apprehended for vote buying were detailed because the suspects or violators were later released for further investigation.)

Appropriate charges were filed against the suspects for violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

If proven guilty, they will serve one up to six years jail term and in case of election candidates, they will be disqualified from holding public office.

The PNP is also looking into the possibility of using drug money in vote buying. – (with details from Lea Ylagan) Marje Pelayo

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Police cadet dies during training exercise in Cavite

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Al Rasheed Pendatun Macadato

MANILA, Philippines – Cadet fourth class Al Rasheed Pendatun Macadato collapsed during a run on Tuesday afternoon (May 14) at Camp General Mariano Castañeda in Silang, Cavite.

The 21-year-old was taking part in the new cadet summer training program of the Philippine National Police Academy.

“Nagkaroon sila ng exercise at road run. Pagkatapos ng road run nila ng ala-singko ng hapon habang nagwa-warm down at stretching ay nakaramdam ng pagkahilo,” explained PNP Spokesperson Police Col. Bernard Banac.

(They had an exercise and a road run. After the road run around 5:00 p.m. during their warm down and stretching exercises, he [Macadato] felt dizzy.)

According to the PNPA, he was rushed to the Camp’s health dispensary and later to Qualimed Hospital in Sta. Rosa, Laguna where he was admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU).

But Macadato passed away on Wednesday (May 15).

Banac said the attending physician ruled out hazing as the cause of Macadato’s death.

Macadato died of heat stroke, according to the PNPA, as they were required to do some pull ups and running when he collapsed.

The PNPA said the hot weather may have affected the cadets’ training exercises and promised to look into the possible lapses in the training program.

“Patuloy itong iniimbestigahan ng pamunuan ng PNP…inaalam nila ang kaniyang medical records kung meron mang indikasyon o prone o maaaring naka-apekto, nakatulong at nakapagdulot ng kanyang pagkahilo,” the official said.

(The PNP leadership are investigating the case…they are looking into his medical records to see if there are existing conditions that may have contributed to his dizziness.)

Macadato was one of the 285 Fourth Class Cadets accepted in May 1, 2019 by the PNPA. Their batch was on their 10th training day when the incident happened. – (with details from Lea Ylagan) Marje Pelayo

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What’s holding PH from having a smooth automated election?

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

2019 midterm elections at Commonwealth Elementary School, Quezon City (Rodel Lumiares/PVI)

MANILA, Philippines – It took the Philippines 18 years before it finally applied the automated election system (AES) in 2010, the time when Benigno Aquino III was named the country’s 15th President.

The plan to fully automate the electoral process was raised in 1992 by then Commission on Election (Comelec) Chairman Christian Monsod during the term of then President Fidel Ramos.

Speaking to UNTV News, Monsod explained that the main purpose of automation was to expedite the election process and to make the job easier for the Commission.

“The vision is really to have the returns faster. It’s two – accuracy and speed. Those are the two objectives,” Monsod said on Thursday (May 16).

In 1996, the election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was declared a success.

It was then that the computerized election system in the country was pilot-tested using the technology provided by a U.S. company American Information System, Inc.

In December 1997, Republic Act 8436 or “An Act Authorizing the Commission on Elections to Use an Automated Election System in the May 11, 1998 National or Local Elections and in Subsequent National and Local Electoral Exercises, Providing Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes” was signed.

However, it was applied only to specific areas like Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and not to the entire Philippines.

During the term of former President Joseph Estrada, poll automation did not push through.

In 2004, the administration of then president Gloria Arroyo awarded the P1.3B poll automation contract to Mega Pacific E-Solutions but the Supreme Court (SC) nullified the contract due to irregularities in the bidding process. A complaint against then Comelec Commissioner Benjamin Abalos Sr., other commissioners and executives of the Mega Pacific E-Solutions was filed in relation to the contract but the case did not prosper due to lack of probable cause.

It was in 2008 that Smartmatic-Sahi Joint Ventures entered a contract with Comelec as the provider of the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Technology while the Active Business Solutions Inc. and Avante International provided the Optical Mark Reader (OMR) Technology.

The said technologies were applied in the ARMM elections that time but several glitches manifested.

In 2009, the contract for the 2010 presidential elections was awarded to Smartmatic-TIM, the same technology provided tapped in the succeeding polls in 2013, 2016, and this year 2019.

This preference to Smartmatic raised doubts and questions to the credibility of the election process.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, for one, suggests that Smartmatic must be replaced by a different technology provider.

 “Matagal na noong January pa (ay) sinasabi ko na yan. Ang problema noong nag-privilege speech ako (ay) nakapag-award na ang COMELEC. Remember, kasi napakadaming problema,” Sotto said.

(I have been reminding them, ever since January. But then when I gave my privilege speech, Comelec already awarded [the contract]. Remember, there were many problems before.)

The recently concluded 2019 midterm polls was not spared from glitches and problems as many SD cards appeared defective and more vote counting machines malfunctioned as compared to the election in 2016.

But the poll body argues that it is only Smartmatic that passes their bidding requirements aside from the company’s experiences in the previous elections.

Comelec added that this year, not all election materials were provided by a single supplier which, according to the agency, justifies why there were defective supplies.

“In 2016, bundled ang aming bidding…Ngayon iba ang supplier ng makina, iba ang supplier ng SD cards, iba rin ang supplier ng papel at marking pens so doon ang nakita naming problema hindi masyadong nagma-match,” argued Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas.

What the poll body is looking at this time is whether or not to still reuse the VCMs despite their service in the two consecutive elections. – (with details from Rey Pelayo) Marje Pelayo

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