Watchdog: Ex-FBI director Comey made ‘serious error’ in Clinton probe disclosures

admin   •   June 15, 2018   •   2111

FILE PHOTO: Former FBI director James Comey speaks about his book during an onstage interview with Axios Executive Editor Mike Allen at George University in Washington, U.S. April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Former FBI Director James Comey made a “serious error of judgment” when he announced shortly before the 2016 U.S. presidential election that he was reopening an investigation into candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog said on Thursday (June 14).

The 500-page report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that Comey did not exhibit any political bias or try to influence the election.

However, it criticized him for violating Justice Department policies and accused him of usurping the authority of Attorney General Loretta Lynch when in July 2016 he announced there would be no charges against Clinton for her email use as secretary of state.

In addition, the report was highly critical of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two FBI staff members who exchanged highly charged political messages, finding their texts cast a cloud over the FBI and created the appearance of bias. —Reuters

Comelec expects influx of registrants amid last-day of voter registration

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 30, 2019

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is expecting an influx of ‘last-minute’ registrants at the voter registration for the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Comelec will officially close the voter registration at 5:00 p.m. on Monday (September 30). Comelec Spokesperson Dir. James Jimenez said their office is prepared to handle the number of registrants.

“An influx of registrants is to be expected. The COMELEC has anticipated this, and we are confident that our employees in the field are prepared to handle the last-day registration scenario,” he said.

Based on Comelec Resolution 10549, Comelec will implement the following protocol for the last day of voter registration.

  • If there are still applicants lined up to register within the thirty (30) meter radius from the Office of the Election Officer (OEO) by 3:00 P.M. of September 30, 2019, their names will be promptly and consecutively listed down.
  • Each name will be announced repeatedly three (3) times in the order in which the applicants’ names were listed. Applicants who are not present when their names are called shall no longer be allowed to file their application.
  • When an applicant’s name is called and he/she is present, his/her application will be processed and his/her biometrics data will be captured. The process continues until all those listed shall have been processed.
  • An Express Lane is provided for Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens and Heavily Pregnant Applicants.

There are around 2.6 million registered voters in the country as of August 1 this year, according to Comelec’s data.—AAC

FBI says Ohio shooting suspect explored “violent ideologies”

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2019

DAYTON, OHIO, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 4, 2019). GUNMAN (CONNOR BETTS) CHASING THE PEOPLE IS BROUGHT DOWN BY GUNFIRE FROM POLICE OFFICERS. COURTESY: REUTERS

The suspected gunman in the Dayton, Ohio, weekend shooting that killed nine people was exploring violent ideologies but it was unclear whether that influenced his actions, an FBI agent said on Tuesday (August 6).

“We have uncovered evidence that the shooter was exploring violent ideologies,” FBI agent Todd Wickerham told reporters.

He said authorities were working to determine whether the attacker was influenced by a particular ideology and whether he was helped by anyone.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday proposed a “red flag” law that would take guns away from people who may harm themselves or others, responding to pressure for him to “do something” after the mass shooting in Dayton. (REUTERS)

(Production: Mana Rabiee)

Namfrel favors investigation of election mishaps

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 20, 2019

Courtesy : Election photo by Rodel Acuvera Lumiares‎ of PVI-PRESS

The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) favors a congressional investigation into reported mishaps during elections.

“The unfortunate thing about the multiple mishaps in the May 13 elections is that the problems were preventable. The May 13, 2019 Midterm Elections is the fourth time that the automated elections systems was used. For all these problems, the COMELEC should be held responsible,” according to their statement.

Namfrel National Council Member Lito Averia also said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should face investigation in Congress on June 4.

“Pabor kami diyan kasi nga nakalagay sa batas nitong automated elections system. Dapat tinitingnan nitong joint congressional oversight committee both the Senate and House of Representatives na tingnan kung papaano nagtrabaho ang automated elections at evaluate nila ulit. May assessment iyan (We are in favor of it, because it is stated in the law on automated elections system. The joint congressional oversight committee, both the Senate and the House of Representatives should look into how the automated elections work, including an evaluation. There should be an assessment there),” he said.

Meanwhile, Comelec admitted that the number of vote counting machines (VCM) that malfunctioned tripled during this elections compered to the 2016 elections.

Comelec said that over 1,600 SD cards were needed to be replaced in this year’s elections while only 120 SD cards needed replacement in 2016 elections.

According to Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas they are already investigating the issues.

“Definitely, pinapa-review ko na sa Law Department iyong magiging penalty just in case or may violation ng kontrata but again syempre kailangan din natin marinig iyong side nila, (Definately, I directed the Law Department to review the possible penalties just in case there is a violation of contract. But again, we also have to know their side),” he said.

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