2010 election automation in trouble

Can we say goodbye to automated elections in 2010?

That seems to be the case, as the supplemental budget for the 2010 elections remains pending at the House of Reprehensibles. With three days remaining before the Congress adjourns, passing the budget bill within three days is possible, but it will be a long shot. If the bill remains in its current state after three days, the Commission on Elections will be hardpressed on election automation. The ugliest scenario would be no automation in 2010, which is illegal, as Republic Act 9369 calls for an automated elections in 2010. Or a partial automated elections can be done, and even that might be deemed illegal, as it goes against the same law.

And then there’s the Reproductive Health bill, which I think will suffer the same fate as that of the supplemental budget. As I have said before, it would be a miracle if this bill passes both Houses of Congress, and a greater miracle if Gloria Arroyo signs the law. I think even if the bill is passed, Arroyo will veto it. So the Congress is just prolonging the agony of this doomed bill.

On the positive side, this means the Right of Reply bill will suffer the same fate as the other two. And with principal sponsor Monico Puentevella amending his own bill, three days will not be enough to tackle these amendments. Unfortunately, the Senate has long passed its version, no thanks to Aquilino Pimentel Jr., so we might see this bill pass into law by end of the year.

As of now, the biggest among the three is the supplemental budget bill. On its passage rests the fate of the 2010 elections. Speaker Norberto Nograles and the majority should have prioritized this bill instead of the others (like those unnecessary Charter change resolutions). Maybe the intention after all is to just pay lip service to election automation.

In the end, it is the Filipino people who are screwed up by the Congress’ misplaced priorities.

UPDATE: 03/03/2009 House passes supplemental budget. The ball is now on Senate’s hands.


News break

The Jester-in-Exile was once annoyed by a comment made a reporter, wherein the reporter said that the press (pertaining to the mainstream media) is the gatekeeper of information. It was said matter-of-factly, which reeked of arrogance to some people. Well, if the gatekeeper keeps on goofing up, we should look for a new gatekeeper, no?

Just take a look at this. Information about a murder, massacred by two gatekeepers.

(Click on the image to enlarge, just in case the pages are removed.)

UP prof found dead in Quiapo

High school teacher found dead in Manila apartment

The gatekeepers had just chosen to present us with conflicting information. So much for being gatekeepers.

And has the Roman Catholic Church changed its stance regarding family planning?

Just look at this news report. I quote (emphasis mine):

“The life of a person is important, from the moment of conception. The mother’s womb is a sanctuary of life and the mother should fight for the life of her child,” Santos said.

So it is OK to use condoms now, Father Santos?