The glass cannot be half-full

Either there is press freedom or not, according to Sun.Stars pooled editorial.

The editorial points out the danger of making police the evaluators of media.

Why do cops make poor evaluators? They dont know the craft and its nuances. Their mind-set is that of victims, whipped frequently by media for lapses and offenses.

The paper (disclosure: I work for Sun.Star Cebu) says “The Government cannot claim to be free and democratic when it gags media by threats of takeover or shutdown.”

Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of emergency in the country has been described as a harmless weapon that should not instill fear among the law-abiding.

We disagree. It is a lethal weapon in the hands of those who exceed or abuse the power–out of ignorance, spite, or meanness.

Read the full article here.

Mandaue ballots appear to have been filled up by only 1 person

That’s the claim of former senator Loren Legarda. “There were many objections. Many ballots have been put aside because it appears only one person did the voting,” Legarda told radio station dyLA yesterday.

Former senator Loren Legarda yesterday said initial revision of contested ballots shows she was robbed of her votes in Mandaue City during the last elections.

Here’s a link to the Sun.Star Cebu article.

Neighboring areas complain against ‘Imperial Cebu’

Cebu, according to Dumaguete City Mayor Agustin Perdices, is “becoming like Imperial Manila.” Perdices and Siquijor Gov. Orlando Fua complained in yesterday’s Regional Development Council meeting that Cebu is cornering most of the projects approved for Central Visayas.

Here’s Sun.Star’s story on the issue:

DUMAGUETE CITY – Tired of hearing about so many infrastructure projects for Cebu, government officials from Siquijor and Oriental Negros griped about the lack of attention to their provinces’ needs.

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Bringing down the government, a CIA manual

I found this interesting link, via, to a photoset in Flickr purported to be reproductions of a Central Intelligence Agency booklet distributed as part of a campaign to destabilize the Nicaraguan government and economic system.

I don’t know if the booklet is authentic or one of those hoaxes that get passed around but it makes for an interesting read. Among the items in the booklet, which was said to have been printed in Spanish and English, are: Obstruct roads with trees, rocks or ditches; threaten the boss by phone, phone in false fire alarms and bomb threats; put nails under car tires or on roads, cut the cables of telephones and alarm systems.

Here’s a reproduction of one of the pages:
CIA manual?

Pinoy politics in RSS feeds

With the number of blogs discussing Philippine politics, how does one monitor postings without getting tied up in blog-hopping for hours? With an RSS reader, of course. I recommend Google Reader even if it suffers short (less than a minute) downtimes once every few days. Bloglines, the reader I used before I transferred to Google Reader, is also a good online RSS reader. I still use Bloglines as backup, though. You can share feeds between different RSS readers by exporting and importing your subscriptions.

If you already have an account, add the feeds listed below. In Google Reader, I label them as pinoypolitics. This isnt an exhaustive list, if you spot feeds that should be listed here, just leave the address in the comments section.

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Cebu City Hall, Capitol are blogging

I found this morning, via Technorati, a link to a new blog by the Cebu City Government. From the date of the “Hello World” entry, which is automatically published when you install WordPress, Blog Cebu City was set up only yesterday.

It appears that the site is still being configured-what with the default Hello World entry and the WordPress standard blogroll still there. It already has two posts, though, one on the search for the child-friendly Cebu City barangay and the other on the tax declaration on machinery. This is a great move by Cebu City Hall and I wish more local governments would follow its lead.

The Cebu Provincial Government, on the other hand, already has a blog and since Sept. 21, there had been only one entry. I don’t know if Capitol plans to continue with it or they’re just testing it but the feedback on that single entry is good.

Cafe chain pushes censorship body for Philippine Internet

Please excuse me while I puke.

Netopia, according to this article, is “urging” the government to create a censorship body to monitor the local Internet infrastructure. An official of the Internet cafe chain says the body “will operate similarly to the Movies Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and provide guidelines for the compliance of Internet service providers.”

Netopia President Raymond Ricafort told “The government can discourage users from visiting indecent web sites in the same manner that they discourage adult films.”

Mr. Ricafort, if the government will discourage us from visiting sites in the same manner that they have been labeling certain films as “for adults only” then we’re fucked. And how, in Torquemada’s name, can you impose “decency” in the local Web infrastructure? By playing Big Brother and monitoring the traffic? How will you “prevent pornographic materials from being distributed through local ISPs?”

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Bills to split Cebu flawed?

Cebu 2nd district Rep. Antonio Cuenco has asked the House of Representatives to suspend action on the proposals to create Cebu del Sur, Cebu del Norte and Cebu Occidental.

Cuenco said proponents of the plans to create new provinces out of Cebu failed to follow instructions in the implementing rules for the creation of new provinces. Cuenco said the sponsors did not meet the required documents in the official checklist.

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Bohol takes first step into ICT world

This week’s holding of the 1st Bohol Internet and Net Security conference marked the island-province�s move to take part in the information and communications technology (ICT) world. The initiative is led by the private sector — with some support from the government sector.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) appears to be the initiative’s biggest supporter with both the outgoing and incoming directors present during the conference. The governor and the mayor weren’t there (both were on official trips) and the representatives they sent only went there during the first day.

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You say local government leaders are feudal?

I first heard of it from a colleague — Mandaue City Mayor Thadeo Ouano’s birthday celebration theme was to be a “halad sa hari” or tribute to the king. Last night, I saw a copy of the invitation (see picture) from another colleague who got the copy from a Mandaue official.

Halad sa hari

I don’t know if the invitation was meant to be funny considering that these are being distributed to government officials.

In the program, there is a schedule for a “Halad” (Cebuano word for offering or tribute) with the halad coming from heads of Mandaue City Hall departments, barangay leaders and families of teachers and a selected City Hall workers. The last entry in the “Halad” was the, you guessed it, “surpresa!!!”

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