Categories
Daily dose

In shutting down PCSO, Duterte has helped promote jueteng

without giving details or offering any evidence of the alleged corruption in PCSO, the public headed into the weekend surprised and puzzled with the sudden shutdown of Lotto, Keno, STL and other gaming activities by PCSO.

All the Palace could say was that details will be given “in due time.” No one from the top brass of PCSO has resigned nor has given any statement to Duterte’s shutdown order, only that they will make an appeal to the President’s office.

Recall that one of PCSO’s offerings is the Small-town lottery or STL which was meant to compete and help get rid of the illegal numbers game ‘jueteng’. Now that STL has been shuttered, one would expect an increase of jueteng’s popularity as people will turn to it for their gambling fix or livelihood.

With one stroke, Duterte has indirectly boosted the illegal numbers game. He was even able to mobilize the PNP in closing down the thousands of Lotto stalls nationwide under generous media coverage.

Then there was this speech the President gave last June during an oath-taking ceremony of newly elected officials in Malacanang:

May mga jueteng na activity…Maski sinong Presidente ilagay mo dito, for as long as the economy does not really provide food on the table for so many families, hayaan mo na lang ‘yan. At least ang pera doon [There are jueteng activities. Regardless who the President is, for as long as the economy does not provide really food on the table for so many families, you just let it be. At least the money is there]

Kasi hindi ko talaga rin kaya. At pagka sinira ko ‘yan, ang papalit sa apparatus niyan, droga. So choose between the lesser evil [Because I also can not do it. And if I order the closure of jueteng, it will be replaced by the drug apparatus. So choose between the lesser evil]

So it seems that Duterte has really chosen the ‘lesser evil’ and gave jueteng a Presidential boost by shutting down its competitor. Until Duterte reveals more details or progress of his so-called investigation into the alleged corruption in PCSO, the public will just have to wait and wonder.

Categories
Daily dose

GCash Login Error Code HJL3

Since last night I have been unable to login to GCash. Did not change my MPIN. Wasn’t asked to change my MPIN recently. The GCash app would not just let me login. It gave the following error message:

There seems to be a problem. Please try again later. (Code HJL3)

Contacting GCash customer support was the last thing on my mind because we all know it takes them forever to respond let alone fix an issue. So I tried a couple of workarounds to see if I can fix this by myself.

The first workaround I tried was to change the MPIN. It still did not work.

Thought about uninstalling and reinstalling the GCash app but decided on changing the mobile number first. Since I don’t have any other number registered with GCash, I just re-entered my current number. After entering the authentication code and using my new MPIN, I was finally able to login.

I’ll do some searching online for this error or report this to GCash later on, but for now, you can try the workaround if you can’t login to GCASH:

  • Tap on ‘Change’ on the GCash login screen.
  • Select Yes when asked if you are sure to change the logged in number
  • Use the number registered with GCash
  • Enter the authentication code via SMS
  • Login using your MPIN

If this doesn’t work then you’d have to report this to GCash customer support.

Anyone else who encountered this error? What fix worked for you? Do share in the comments below.

Categories
Daily dose

Not for power, but clean, free & honest elections

The outcome of the recent May 13, 2019 National & Local Elections may have already been decided in favor of the Duterte administration as not one Senatorial candidate from the Opposition has won a seat, it is hard to say that it is a victory through ‘clean, honest & free elections’.

On election day itself, NAMFREL​*​ has noted the following of great concern:

Violence in Mindanao – the were incidents of violence in the towns of Datu Piang and Matanog resulting to people unable to vote and the pullout of observers.

Voter disenfranchisement – voters gave up after they were not able to find their names on the list of voters even in precincts they had previously voted.

400 to 600 Vote Counting Machines (VCM) that malfunctioned which caused delays in voting or improvised voting procedures which let to voters being unable to verify their votes. It is estimated that between 600,000 to 800,000 votes may have been compromised and this is enough to influence the results of the election.

Then for 7 hours from 6:15PM of May 13 to 1:19AM of May 14, the Comelec Transparency server did not display results due to a yet-to-be explained technical glitch. When it did, candidates of the Administration had swept the Senate race.

Although the results favoring the administration bets where somehow expected given the President’s all-time high popularity rating, what came as a surprise was a sweep of all 12 seats in the Senate. Looking at the party-list elections, the anomalies, violence and lack of transparency has raised doubts about the results.

Noticeable are the following:

Anakpawis received zero votes in precincts where the group had members registered votes, including Caloocan and Valenzuela cities.

In Cagayan province, where Anakpawis has 20,000 members, the party polled only 8,000 votes.

Kabataan partylist received fewer votes in areas where the size of its chapters should have generated higher counts, such as Samar and Benguet provinces and Malabaon City.

ACT Teachers said an area in Iloilo province where the party had consistently drawn more than 700 votes gave it just seven.

Gabriela said they received significantly fewer votes this year in areas that consistently gave it much higher votes in the past elections.

Bayan Muna also experienced the same shaving of votes in areas that have given it increasing number of votes. Although it is no. 2, the gap with the number 1(the partylist of Tulfo) is way to great a figure.

Arkibong Bayan, Facebook post, May 17, 2019

All of these cast doubt on the integrity of the elections. The COMELEC whose duty and reason for existence is the conduct of ‘clean, honest and free elections’ should take the lead in being transparent and allowing access to the election data and servers for auditing. While it’s easy to say that the Left is once more just making noise for being sore losers, it conveniently ignores the many incidents that took place throughout the country last May 13 that has now cast doubts about the results.

Others will mask their bias with wit by asking the Left to present evidence to back their claims of cheating and fraud. While it is correct that the burden of proof is on the one making the allegations, such proof will depend on how transparent the COMELEC will be since the primary source of evidence, the Automated election system, is under their control.

If the COMELEC will grant the petitions for transparency and seriously look into the allegations, it will vindicate both the poll body and most specially the administration candidates as it will remove any doubts to the new mandates they have received from the electorate. The Left is not crying foul because it wants to have more seats in government, it is only after ensuring that our elections are clean, honest and free. Consistent to their cause, the Left is fighting not to win more seats, but for the true will of the people to be heard and respected.

It is a win for all if the election results are proven to be accurate and credible. It’s a win for all if those who made election law violations will be punished. It’s a win for all if we are able to ensure the recent elections have been clean, free & honest.


  1. ​*​
    NAMFREL NOTES ON ELECTION DAY
Categories
Opinion

For an independent & progressive Senate

On May 13, 2019 Filipino voters would troupe to election precincts and cast their votes for 12 new Senators of the Republic. Given what the Duterte administration has done in the last three years, what it is currently doing and what it intends to do for the remaining time it is in power, the results of the Senatorial elections will be very crucial. To put it lightly but bluntly, we cannot screw up.

A quick rundown of what the key issues are: our national sovereignty up for sale with our lands, waters and other resources being offered to China; changing our Constitution to favor dictatorial and tyrannical designs and to entrench the self-serving ruling class; the imposition of more laws that will burden the poor majority; the complete restoration of the Marcoses in power; the continuing attack on journalists, activists, human rights advocates and indigenous peoples; the truth that drug lords remain free to operate while thousands of poor have died without due process.

These will get worse if candidates who are not only imcompetent and undeserving of a Senate seat and worse, who by words, deeds and legislative record would just kowtow to Duterte’s desires and designs will be elected.

It is paramount then, nay, it is our duty and obligation to use our ballots to elect a Senate that is independent and restore some sense of dignity, duty and concern for the common good in our democratic systems.

To achieve this, I urge our fellow voters to consider and support the following candidates:

Neri Colmenares

Leody De Guzman

Ernesto Arellano

Sonny Matula

Allan Montano

Chel Diokno

Erin Tanada

Samira Gutoc

Pilo Hilbay

Nancy Binay

Bam Aquino

Serge Osmena

The list is made up of men and women of principles. They have exhibited intelligence and openness to working with others across ideologies and have shown independence of mind.

Neri Colmenares is one of the most popular candidates from the opposition. A veteran of the parliament of the streets, he made his name for being a human rights lawyer himself being a victim of rights abuses during the martial law years of the Marcos dictatorship. His track record in the House of Representatives is proof that he is a champion of the poor and marginalized – increased pension for SSS, opposing unreasonable rates increase by Meralco, Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act and many more. Despite being red-tagged by the government and targeted by misinformation campaigns, Colmenares remains untainted by corruption.

From the Labor Win coalition comes Leody De Guzman who heads the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Ernesto Arellano, founder of Kilusang Mayo Uno, Sonny Matula, president of Federation of Free Workers and Labor lawyer Allan Montano. Electing them to the Senate will ensure that laws will be crafted to serve the common good and the common man. Living wages, ending ‘endo’ and strengthening unions will be much easier to achieve if these leaders would get a Senate seat. They are free of corruption and are not beholden to any oligarchs or private interests.

Samira Gutoc has really captured my interest with her fiery passion about the issues besetting Mindanao and our Muslim brothers. Chel Diokno will ensure the respect for due process and the rule of law will be on the Senate’s agenda. Erin Tanada and Pilo Hilbay will help secure and defend our sovereignty. Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay and Serge Osmena will be great assets to ensure an independent Senate.

I enjoin everyone to look into their backgrounds and track records. Their positions on the key issues enumerated earlier are worth the consideration, so much so that it would merit your vote.

Karl Marx once wrote that “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.” Come May 13, we get the chance to select leaders that will truly represent us and help us struggle against our own repression.