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21

Floyd Landis Admits PED Use, Accuses Lance Armstrong

   
Floyd Landis, the 2006 Tour de France champion who had his title stripped after testing positive for synthetic testosterone, has finally admitted that he was a longtime user of performance-enhancing drugs. And in his confession he has accused other cyclists of cheating, including Lance Armstrong.

"I want to clear my conscience," Landis told ESPN.com. "I don't want to be part of the problem anymore. "With the benefit of hindsight and a somewhat different perspective, I made some misjudgments. And of course, I can sit here and say all day long, 'If I could do it again I'd do something different,' but I just don't have that choice.'"

Landis claims that doping was so rampant in cycling that he had no choice but to cheat if he wanted to participate in the sport at its highest levels.

"I don't feel guilty at all about having doped," Landis told ESPN.com. "I did what I did because that's what we [cyclists] did and it was a choice I had to make after 10 years or 12 years of hard work to get there; and that was a decision I had to make to make the next step. My choices were, do it and see if I can win, or don't do it and I tell people I just don't want to do that, and I decided to do it."

The New York Daily News is separately reporting that Landis has accused Armstrong of doping. Landis wrote letters to cycling officials describing how the U.S. Postal Service pro cycling team used performance-enhancing drugs when Landis was on it from 2002 to 2005. Armstrong was on the team during that time and won the Tour de France all four years. Armstrong has steadfastly denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.

22
New Miss USA Rima Fakih knows her way around a stripper pole

In case you missed it, Miss Michigan Rima Fakih, won last night to become the 2010 Miss USA. A nice feather in her cap, no doubt. But does it really compare to winning Mojo In The Morning’s “Stripper 101″ contest in 2007? I think not. Who knew that being well-versed in the art of working a stripper pole could put one on the path to superstardom? Well, okay, semi-famousdom. Either way, God bless America.

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23


DRUGGIE Luke Holmes died in bed after being overcome by the heat from cannabis farms inside his home.

Holmes, 28, set up three foil-lined tents each containing marijuana plants cultivated under a battery of halogen lamps.

The powerful lights sent the temperature in his home soaring to more than 100°F (38°C), an inquest heard.

Holmes died in his sleep and was found three days later when pals broke into his house in Halifax, West Yorks.

Police almost fainted from the heat when they entered the property on a warm day last June.

The inquest in Bradford heard that Holmes was a drug user, although no drugs were found in his system.

He died from hyperthermia, or excessive heat. Verdict: Accident.


24
Toronto woman sues Rogers after her affair is exposed

Mon May 17 2010

A Toronto woman says the billing practices of Rogers Wireless Inc. led to her husband discovering her extramarital affair.

Now the woman, whose husband walked out, is suing the communications giant for $600,000 for alleged invasion of privacy and breach of contract, the results of which she says have ruined her life.

In 2007, Gabriella Nagy had a cellphone account with Rogers which sent the monthly bill to her home address in her maiden name. Her husband was the account holder for the family's cable TV service at the same address. Around June 4, 2007, he called Rogers to add internet and home phone.

The following month, Rogers mailed a “global” invoice for all of its services to the matrimonial home that included an itemized bill for Nagy's cellular service, according to the statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

When Nagy’s husband opened the Rogers invoice, he saw several hour-long phone calls to a single phone number.

“Nobody does business this way and he's not stupid,” says Nagy, who is in her 30s. He called the number, spoke to the “third party” who confirmed the affair, which had lasted only a few weeks, Nagy told the Star.

“My husband didn't tell me that's how he found out, he just left.”

“The husband used the previously private and confidential information that the defendant unilaterally disclosed to the husband to inquire about the people that the plaintiff was telephoning and the nature of such calls,” the statement of claim says.

The statement alleges Rogers “unilaterally terminated its cellular contract with the plaintiff that had been in her maiden name and included it in the husband’s account that was under his surname.

“The plaintiff’s maiden name and the husband's surname were different. Such unilateral action by the defendant was done without the knowledge, information, belief, acquiescence or approval of the plaintiff.”

In a statement of defence, Rogers denies it terminated the contract and says the company "cannot be held responsible for the condition of the marriage, for the plaintiff's affair and consequential marriage break-up, nor the effects the break-up has had on her.

“Rogers is not the cause of these. The marriage break-up and its effects happened, or alternatively would in any event have happened, regardless of the form in which the plaintiff and her husband received their invoices for Rogers services in July 2007.”

Rogers acknowledges it “consolidated the invoicing of the various services being provided to the plaintiff and her husband” so that one monthly invoice would be sent to their home. “Apart from administrative efficiency, doing so would result in savings to the plaintiff and her husband for the services.”

Nagy is deeply embarrassed and ashamed about what happened. “It was a mistake,” she said of the affair. “But I didn’t deserve to lose my life over it.”

After her husband left her and their two children, ages 6 and 7, she was so distraught her work performance suffered and she lost her job as an apartment rental agent that had paid her almost $100,000 until she was let go in Oct. 10, 2007. “The plaintiff wept uncontrollably at her workplace . . . and became incapable of performing her employment duties,” reads the statement of claim. Nagy says the employer was aware of the situation and that she was receiving medical attention.

Nagy’s lawyer, Edward Tonello, says this case is unprecedented in Canada.

“In Ontario, we don’t have a privacy act, unlike British Columbia and other provinces.”

Nagy discovered how her husband found out after Rogers left her a voicemail, in late August 2007, advising that it was about to terminate her cellular services because of unpaid invoices. That’s when she learned Rogers had terminated her account in her maiden name and included it in the global account. Rogers says the invoice was sent to “Ms.” and her husband’s surname.

When she confronted her husband, he said, “Thank god for the Rogers bill. Had it not come bundled in my cable service I would never known. That’s the only way,” Nagy says. She asked that his name not be included in the story to spare him further embarrassment. His name does not appear in the court filing.

“I lost everything,” she says. “I want others to know what a big corporation has done. I trusted Rogers with my personal information. We had a contract — and agreement that put my life right in their hands.”

After she terminated her relationship with the “third party” in August 2007, the jilted lover, himself a married father of three, called Rogers and obtained her secret password to her voicemail and used it to access it to harass her and taunt the husband, the statement of claim alleges.

As well, she alleges Rogers disconnected her cellular service in January 2009 and said her cellular phone was being invoiced to her husband's account. The wrongdoing that occurred in 2007 reoccurred, the statement says noting she subsequently switched to another cellular service provider.

Rogers denies those claims.

26
General Topic / Space Shuttle Atlantis Final Voyage...
« on: May 16, 2010, 03:17:19 AM »
 :'( :'(

"Space Shuttle Atlantis" Final Flight-May,14 2010 (FULL HD)

a song as a tribute to the Atlantis and its crews

Elton John - Rocket Man

27
General Topic / This father is set to become a Father
« on: May 16, 2010, 02:07:31 AM »

This father is set to become a Father


The Catholic Register

CrowleyFamily - Show Posts - glacier_71

TORONTO - Years of experience as a husband and father provided a natural progression towards the priesthood for Deacon Stephen Crowley, now just days away from his May 1 ordination in Hamilton, Ont.

The father of three adult children lost his wife Maureen, to whom he had been married for 32 years, to muscular dystrophy in 2008.

“I just think that the priesthood now is a logical conclusion or a logical extension of me living out my baptism to the fullest as was my married life,” said Crowley, who worked as a medical laboratory technologist. “I see that they’re both ways of living out my baptism as a Catholic man of God and serving the community, first as a nuclear family and now as a larger family.”
Crowley said he remembers his first inclination to the priesthood, which happened when he was in Grade 4, and reading about the lives of the various saints.

“Especially reading about Fr. John Bosco and thinking ‘Gee I’d like to be a priest like he was,’ ” Crowley said. “I remember being an altar server for many years and my pastors and my family assuming I would enter the seminary and become a priest, but then it came time for high school and I started dating.”

During his youth in his hometown of Peterborough, Ont., he remembers parish-sponsored hockey teams and scout troops, youth Masses, school Masses at St. Peter’s High School and other faith-centred opportunities. He met Maureen when she was in Grade 10 and he in Grade 11.

After they married, it took many years before they would conceive their first child, just after they had begun to consider adoption.

“Those first six or seven years of our marriage where we didn’t have our children allowed us to be rooted in our faith and gave us the graces that we needed to cope with what lay ahead,” Crowley said.

During that time they participated in the Cursillo Movement and various parish missions which helped develop an understanding of church teachings and strengthened their relationship with God.

Signs of Maureen’s illness began to surface after the birth of their first child, but even as her condition worsened, their faith helped them recognize the graces being poured out on their family and on the community. After she had a brain stem lesion in 1992, Crowley asked his priest about becoming a deacon, but was encouraged to wait until his children were older. So he became involved with the Knights of Columbus and helped with various parish ministries, as did his children.

Crowley said because of his obvious passion for serving the church, his decision to study for the priesthood was no surprise to his children. He had already begun taking some theology courses in case the permission to become a priest was given. That happened the day before he left for the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City in 2008, barely a month after his wife’s death.

Now he looks forward to giving to the parish some of the love he has shared with his family.

“I think it’s the interaction with the people, just the happy, smiling faces in the parish and knowing that you can be there — and serve them from when they baptize their children right through the whole sacramental life of the parish until it’s time to bury the dead — be there just as a member of this larger family.

“I’m looking forward to the idea of trying to find creative ways of drawing people into the church so that they can experience the love of God through the liturgy and just share in our liturgies and our faith with the people in our parish.”

Crowley said it’s the experience of having been in an intimate family relationship, the co-operation that is required and the sacrificial element of the sacrament that will help him be a good priest.

“It can be a great witness and a great understanding that people can hopefully relate with as well, as they go through their own struggles,” he said.

28

President Nicolas Sarkozy 'threatened to pull France out of euro'


By a Reuters reporter in Madrid

The newspaper cited comments by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to members of his party on Wednesday as relayed by people present at that meeting.

A spokesman for the Spanish Prime Minister's office confirmed the meeting between Zapatero and other socialist party members on Wednesday, but could not immediately confirm what was said at the meeting.
 

Sarkozy demanded a "commitment from everyone to suppport Greece...or France would reconsider its position in the euro," according to one source cited by El Pais.

Another source present at the meeting between Zapatero and his party members and cited by the paper said: "Sarkozy ended up banging his fist on the table and threatening to leave the euro...This forced Angela Merkel to give in and reach an agreement."

The European Union and International Monetary Fund agreed a 110 billion euro rescue plan for Greece last week. But Germany, which must shoulder a good deal of the burden, had proven reluctant to commit itself to a plan.

Zapatero told his party members that France, Italy and Spain had formed a united front against Germany at the Brussels meeting and that Sarkozy had threatened to break up a traditional France-Germany "hold" on the rest of Europe, according to El Pais.

The Elysee had no comment on the El Pais article.

29
Scientist tackles Magnetic Hill mystery


Fri May 14, 7:04 AM

NEW.BRUNSWICK (CBC) - A Japanese scientist has won an award for duplicating the kind of optical illusion that for decades has baffled tourists who visit the fabled Magnetic Hill in Moncton, N.B.

Kokichi Sugihara of the Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences won the international competition for Best Visual Illusion of 2010, at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Fla., for showing how objects can appear to roll uphill, as if they are being pulled by a magnet.

That kind of illusion has been drawing tourists to the southeastern New Brunswick city since the 1930s.

Sugihara's video, "Impossible motion: magnet-like slopes" shows a structure with four slopes. At the start, four wooden balls all appear to roll up the slopes against gravity. But as the camera circles the structure, the slopes are seen to be actually pointed down.

Judy Dougan, manager of Magnetic Hill for the City of Moncton, said the phenomenon related to perspective and background may have been solved but that is unlikely to curb the enthusiasm of people visiting the well-known Maritime attraction.

"The secret's out, but you have to come and experience it," Dougan said. "It's a unique experience."

Here's a video of the famous Magnetic hill  ;D

Magnetic Hill, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

and this is the video explaining the "mystery".. ;D ;D

Impossible motion: magnet-like slopes


31
Music and Video / albularyong buta
« on: May 13, 2010, 11:16:20 AM »

32
Love Talk / PARENTS: You don't lie to your kids ... do you?
« on: May 13, 2010, 10:51:01 AM »
PARENTS: You don't lie to your kids ... do you?

March 30, 2010

If you say you never lie to your kids, you're probably not telling the truth.

From the Easter Bunny to spinach to death, we lie about all sorts of things to give our kids a sense of wonder, encourage them to try different foods and protect them from harsh reality.

I am no exception. Although I avoid some of the whoppers my parents told me - "If you swallow gum it will stick in your stomach," and "If you make a face it will get stuck and stay that way" - I still find little white lies slipping out of my mouth.
   
Some lies we justify as being for our kid's own good. Food lies fall in this category. I'm the queen of the food lie.

"Eating carrots will make you see better." "Those aren't mushrooms, those are noodles." "We're all out of candy."

I got my son to eat cauliflower by telling him it was "white broccoli" and I can get him to try just about any light colored meat if I tell him it's chicken or turkey.

There are the lies I tell to avoid an unpleasant situation.

Anyone who's been to McDonalds knows how those junky little Happy Meal toys pile up. Periodically I clean out the toy box and toss the older ones. Every once in a while he decides to dig one out.

"It's around here somewhere, I'm sure we'll find it later," I say without missing a beat.

"It broke" is the fib I tell after tossing an old toy he stopped playing with or the balloon that lingered too long in the corner.

Some lies are to protect your child or avoid topics you're not ready to deal with.

When I took my son to a play about a troupe of teenage actors, to my surprise, there was a scene in which the older woman director got amorous with one of the teenagers. Frowning my son turned to me and asked "Are they married?" "Yes" I said without a second thought.

And then there are the harmless lies we tell to make kids feel good and encourage them.

"That song sounded beautiful." "Your drawing looks just like a (fill in the blank)." "You did better than you did last time."

One lie has even become such a standard, that it's more of a joke than a real lie. I've said it to my son, but always with tongue-in-cheek.

"When I was kid I used to walk to school through six feet of snow, uphill, both ways!"

What are your white lies?

33
8-Yr Old Only Potential Survivor of Libyan Plane Crash

An 8-year-old Dutch boy was possibly the only survivor when a Libyan plane exploded during landing at Tripoli airport Wednesday, killing 93 passengers and 11 crew members.

Reports are conflicting with some claiming all 105 on board have died. The most recent statement by the airline indicates survivors have been transported to hospitals:

    “We are very sorry to announce the tragic loss of Afriqiyah airways flight 8u 771 from Johannesburg in an accident during landing at Tripoli international airport at 04:00 UTC. (06:00 am Tripoli time) today Wednesday 12 may. We extend our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims the search and rescue mission has now been completed and casualties have been moved to various hospitals. The secretariat of health will issue a statement on the condition of those casualties.”

Local news sources are also reporting that an 8-yr old boy has been transported to a hospital.

“I can confirm the crash but not the number of the dead,” said Bongani Sithole, an official of the airline at Johannesburg airport. “We hear that it happened one metre (yard) away from the runway.”

Afriqiyah Airways said the 8U771 flight crash landed in Tripoli around 5am British time. There were either 93 or 94 passenger and 11 crew. “At this moment we have no information concerning possible casualties or survivors,” the airline said in a statement.

News agencies are scrambling for information, but very little is being revealed by any sources close to the tragedy.

“We know that plane departed from Johannesburg to Libya and we are liaising with both the South African and Libyan civil aviation authorities. They will keep us informed,” said spokeswoman Nomfanelo Kota.

We will update as more information becomes available.

34
Sports and Fitness / NBA approves Nets sale to Russian
« on: May 13, 2010, 10:42:21 AM »
NBA approves Nets sale to Russian
   
NEW YORK (AP) -- The first step in what the New Jersey Nets hope is a quick turnaround is in place.

New owner Mikhail Prokhorov is eager to get started on the rest.

"For those who are already fans of the Nets and the NBA, I intend to give you plenty to cheer about," the Russian billionaire said in a statement.

The Nets are now officially the Nyets.

Prokhorov's purchase of the team was approved Tuesday by NBA's owners, who welcomed the first non-North American into their club.

Russia's richest man agreed to buy 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of an arena project in Brooklyn from developer Bruce Ratner late last year. Final approval of the sale was delayed until the state of New York had taken over all the land seized under eminent domain at the site of the team's Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Nets expect that transaction to close Wednesday, and the long-delayed 18,000-seat arena is to open in 2012.

The Nets hope Prokhorov's wealth -- estimated at $9.5 billion through his banking and metals businesses -- will be used to help them bounce back from a 12-70 finish that included an NBA-worst, 18-game losing streak to open the season.

The team was ruined by cost-cutting moves under Ratner, who signed off on the trades of Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. There's money to spend now, with an estimated $23 million in salary cap room heading into free agency this summer, when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are among the players who could be available.

Prokhorov already has proven he can build a winning basketball team, owning a share of European power CSKA Moscow.

"We anticipate that his passion for the game and business acumen will be of considerable value not only to the Nets franchise but to the entire NBA," commissioner David Stern said.

A person with knowledge of the voting results told The Associated Press that NBA owners voted 29-0 to approve the purchase. One team did not vote. The sale had to be approved by three-fourths of the NBA's owners.

The person requested anonymity because the voting totals were not released.

"Today's vote will give the NBA a greater global reach and bring a multitude of new fans to the game of basketball," Prokhorov said."

The next step for the Nets comes next week with the NBA draft lottery, in which they have a 25 percent chance of winning to earn the No. 1 pick and can finish no worse than fourth. Stern previously predicted Prokhorov could represent the team at the lottery.

Prokhorov's arrival in the NBA already has brought plenty of attention to the long-ignored franchise. The 6-foot-6 tycoon was an avid basketball player in his school days, is a fixture in glitzy European resorts and once was held in France for four days of questioning -- but never charged -- in a prostitution investigation.

He's now at the front of a team that will spend the next two years playing in Newark before the anticipated move to Brooklyn. Prokhorov hopes he has built a winning team by then.

"Mikhail and his team will bring tremendous innovation and excitement to the NBA," Ratner said.


35
General Topic / Goodbye Manhood, Guy Has His Balls Shot Off By Cop
« on: May 13, 2010, 10:32:58 AM »
Reader Mark Warrick responds to Denny Phillips, Cagefighter Suspect in Brooke Phillips Case, Shot By Police. The retired Tulsa cops said officers purposely fire low to avoid hurting anyone else, and blew off his balls and part of his penis... ;D ;D ;D ;D

"Just to clear up a few things that are reported incorrectly. First of all Phillips was shot by two Tulsa Police Detectives, no SWAT team was involved.

"The reason the shots were low was due to the fact Phillips was standing in front of a large window. The two detectives shot low to prevent any possible injury to innocent citizens.

"Actually the low shots were pretty effective, half of Phillips penis was removed along with both testicles. I am a retired 30 year member of TPD. I am proud to say the guys involved did a wonderful job getting this evil person off the streets."


 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

36
General Topic / French prostitutes oppose reopening brothels
« on: May 13, 2010, 10:22:01 AM »

French prostitutes oppose reopening brothels

By Mildrade Cherfils - GlobalPost
Published: May 12, 2010 06:33 ET

PARIS, France — A French lawmaker wants to reopen brothels, outlawed in France since 1946, in order to protect prostitutes from predatory pimps and exploitation. But the sex workers say no thanks.

“All of the prostitutes are against the reopening of the brothels,” said Janine Mossuz-Lavau, a sociologist and expert on sexuality and prostitution.

A 2003 law introduced by then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, which made passive public solicitation a punishable crime, is partly to blame for the impasse. Criminalizing activities around prostitution, which itself is legal for anyone over 18, sent workers underground to massage parlors and bars, but also away from the city centers, to peripheral areas, the woods and the internet. It “rendered exercising this profession much more dangerous” since workers found themselves isolated, Mossuz-Lavau said.

Almost seven years to the day that parliament adopted that law in March 2003, Chantal Brunel, a member of Sarkozy’s UMP party who had voted for it, announced she wants to change the government’s response to prostitution. She envisions reopening the brothels as spaces where workers would be safe from human trafficking and violence, treated with dignity and would even receive medical care. An estimated 59 percent of French citizens support the idea, according to a poll released last month.

But the sex workers’ union, which represents more than 250 prostitutes in France, is adamantly opposed to government meddling in its business and would rather maintain as much independence over its members' livelihoods as possible.

Reached by phone, Tiphaine Besnard, a union spokeswoman, said it had been a while since she heard any news from government officials one way or another about how the matter was progressing. In any case, the workers rarely participate in political discussions or decisions involving them.

“Our elected officials … are doomed to repeat the same failures if they do not consult the people who live prostitution daily and know all the consequences of their policies,” the union said in a March press release. “We alone possess the expertise on our lives.”

37
Health and Food / Are You Snoring Yourself To Death?
« on: May 13, 2010, 10:15:38 AM »

If you're one of those people resigned to living with a snoring problem...read on!

Snoring is one of the unfortunate realities of life.  Most of us do it to some degree and generally speaking, the older we get the worse the condition gets.

Snoring can kill

For 1 in 6 people snoring is a serious health issue.

Called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), it's caused by the relaxation of the muscles in the back of the throat and tongue while sleeping which in turn blocks the airway.  That blockage cuts off breathing causing a person to momentarily wake up.  It can literally happen hundreds of times per night.

OSA can have serious health implications including chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, weight gain, and even heart failure and stroke.

Snoring can also put a huge strain on our most important relationship in life, as the person with whom we share our bed often suffers chronically as a result of their partner's snoring.

So treating snoring can make a huge difference in a person's long term health outlook not to mention the more immediate benefits of being able to get a solid night's sleep every night.

The problem with snoring is that effective treatments have been highly intrusive.   They include surgery, in which a doctor cuts away or shrinks tissue in the back of the throat, a CPAP face mask which forces air into the lungs keeping the air passages open while you sleep, or an oral mouthpiece designed to force the lower jaw out during sleep, keeping the airway clear. 

A breakthrough in controlling snoring

But now there's a new product that seems to be the breakthrough so many people have been waiting for.  And like so many great innovations, it's remarkably simple.

The product is an ergonomic strap that fits over the head and chin. It gently holds the jaw in a position that allows the breathing airway to remain clear which virtually eliminates snoring while you sleep.

Although the strap may look somewhat strange, it's actually remarkably comfortable.

Better yet, the chinstrap's effectiveness has been clinically proven.  In a case study by the Eastern Virginia Medical School, it was found to be as effective in treating OSA as expensive CPAP machines.

The chinstrap is offered online through a company called MySnoringSolutions. While most CPAP treatments cost thousands of dollars, the MySnoringSolutions system sells for just $119.97 and it comes with an  unconditional 3 month guarantee, so there is zero risk you will be stuck with something that doesn't work for you. Right now, they are also offering free shipping - which saves new customers $10.

So if you want to get rid of snoring once and for all - this may be the solution you have been waiting for.

38
Sports and Fitness / Canadiens stun Penguins 5-2 in Game 7
« on: May 13, 2010, 10:05:38 AM »
Canadiens stun Penguins 5-2 in Game 7

PITTSBURGH – Montreal has shed its Cinderella tag once and for all.

All it took was a dominating 5-2 dismantling of the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins in Wednesday night's Game 7 at Mellon Arena – the last game in the building's rich hockey history -- to prove that Montreal was better than the best team in hockey league last year, a team that boasts two of the biggest names in the game in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and was the prohibitive favorite to reach a third-straight Eastern Conference Finals.


ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!   >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(




39
LGU Philippines / Fast count stuns nation
« on: May 13, 2010, 03:07:57 AM »
Fast count stuns nation...Faster than you can say ‘Garci’

By Kristine L. Alave, Cathy C. Yamsuan, Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:50:00 05/12/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Shell-shocked.

Winners and losers did not know what hit them as a barrage of election tallies—first a trickle, then a torrent—confronted them with the reality that the poisoned political environment had nothing to do with Monday’s automated elections, officials said Tuesday.

“It was faster than you can say Garci,” said Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Jose Melo, alluding to disgraced former commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, who was accused of colluding with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to rig the 2004 presidential election, a charge she denies.

The first results came from satellite transmissions—the VSATs and BGANs—from mountainous regions in northern Luzon where there were no regular cell phone sites and the voting populations were small.

At 3 p.m. on Monday, as attention was riveted on TV coverage of the chaos and confusion in the heavily populated voting centers, the Comelec decided to convene as the National Board of Canvassers.

The first results were coming in from Mountain Province at that time.

From then on, the transmission turned swift and steady, said Henrietta de Villa, chair of the Church-led Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the Comelec’s citizen’s arm.

“It was better than expected,” she said.

At around 7 p.m., officials of Smartmatic-TIM, the Comelec’s automation partner, announced that 10,000 precincts had already transmitted results and had printed 30 election returns. By midnight, 57 percent of the precincts had reported results.

Cesar Flores, the company spokesperson, said that 92 to 95 percent of the results should be in by Tuesday midnight.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that defeated candidates were “a little shell-shocked” when they realized that they had lost the race in just a few hours.
;D
“The candidates, all of them, were taken by surprise,” Jimenez said.

“In the past, they still had time to manipulate the outcome,” said Ramon Casiple of the Comelec advisory council.

“That is not the case now,” Casiple said, comparing the electronic vote with the previous manual exercise.

Doomsday scenarios

Before Monday’s elections, talk was rife that the President was on overdrive scheming to remain in power beyond her term ending next month, that glitches would reach such a scale that there would be a failure of elections, that an operation plan was in the works for a takeover by a military junta.

The political speculation made preparations for the balloting difficult, Flores conceded.

“Some people said we were going to cheat for somebody,” Flores said. But no politician even attempted to approach the company to rig the vote, he said.

“There was a lot of noise and a lot of wrong accusation. The job speaks for itself. All our projections came true. We never lied to the people. We never overpromised anything,” he added.

Flores said that in spite of the last minute glitches—the recall and replacement of the memory cards for the 76,300 counting machines at the eleventh hour last week—the event turned into a “great project.”

“I would say our work in this election would give us credibility,” said Melo at noon Tuesday with around 75 percent, or about 30 million, of ballots cast counted.

Lessons learned

Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said that the quick delivery of results was “a big step forward towards the restoration of the credibility.”

“By this election, we are learning. There are glitches we have to remedy in future elections. In other words, we know now where we were short,” said Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer.

Sarmiento said the complaints about long queues, problems with counting machines and alleged disenfranchisement would all be considered “raw data to improve and enhance our electoral process so that we can provide a robust democracy for the Philippines.”

Turning to recent history, Melo recalled many instances when local Comelec officials were racing to proclaim candidates, even without a sufficient partial count to make this conclusion.

“But here, under this system actually, there can be no proclamation unless there is a 100 percent count,” Melo said.

“The process in 2007 was quite tortuous and cumbersome,” Sarmiento said. “All ballot boxes have to be opened, to be examined carefully piece by piece. It was a very long process and objections were made by lawyers left and right.”

Birth pains

Under automated elections, Sarmiento said the Comelec would now proclaim winners based on electronically transmitted data in a process faster than the old manual system.

Ferrer said he still expected protests. “This is a free country.”

The automation technology worked, said PPCRV’s Clifford Sorita. “Some glitches had to be adjusted, but these are birth pains,” he said. “We are learning.”

At the morning session of the canvassing for senatorial and party-list candidates, Melo abruptly called off the proceedings amid grandstanding by some lawyers.

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal had suddenly approached the microphone and demanded the examination of the sealed envelopes opened with electronic user’s names and passwords.

“These proceedings are taking longer than the automation,” he said, banging the gavel and suspending the canvassing until the afternoon.

40
LGU Philippines / Handa na si Kandidit para sa Eleksyon
« on: May 09, 2010, 06:34:33 AM »
                         
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