Posts filed under ‘Arroyo’

US, UK, and, Australia : Issue ‘Terror alerts’ over “Democracy RP style”

It was a strange read but somewhat a fact of life for expatriates here in the Philippines to steer clear of street protests and election rallies taking place in the country.

It is actually a crime for any foreigner to take part in actively the Political process and only properly registered foreign journalists, as well as political observers and diplomats are allowed into polling places. So picture taking is however jovial or festive it may seem is something to do outside of polling places – also to avoid any potential problems – never inside anywhere voting is taking place for foreigners.

I know a lot of foreign tourists often do picture tking and make vacation event out of looking in and seeing for themselves. There is very little risk – most place are very secure – but… ‘be careful or avoid it if you can.” per US, UK, EU, and most other government embassy websites.

Also any financial support is banned, no mater how worthy the cause may seem. If you are an expat here – this is a good time to take a shopping trip to Subic or Clark trade zones – or perhaps try the budget fares to Singapore or HK or go on vacation at some island resort. However the new warning is specific also about the last part of the suggestions I have made – a warning – versus remote island resorts and dive boats.

[] “…“Mid-term elections will be held in the Philippines on 14 May 2007. There is the potential for politically-motivated violence during the election period,” it said in its advisory (www.britishembassy.gov.uk).
The UK advisory came a week after the Australian government issued a similar advisory warning its citizens against going to political rallies. …” []  http://www.Gmanews.tv

Sadly both the US and UK gave a blanket warning on the entire Mindanao region. US official persons- ie diplomats and aid workers – now need special permission to travel anywhere in Mindanao per US embassy release.

[] “…
A bit of overkill – While there are trouble spots – the entire island half the size of the England is far from being a trouble zone – some parts – but not all. It should be revised to be more specific. Davao City and General Santos as well as Cagayan de Oro are while sometimes ‘eventful’ hardly conflict zones. Also thousands of US nationals live these areas. both Fil-Am and otherwise.

[]” … people who reside in or visit areas that face terrorist threats,
such as in Mindanao, travel with their own security force, avoid an
obvious presence, or both.  In some areas of the Philippines,
especially in Mindanao, visitors should avoid travel at night outside
metropolitan areas.  U.S. Government employees must seek special
permission for travel to Mindanao or the Sulu Archipelago.  When
traveling in Mindanao, U.S. official travelers attempt to lower their
profile, limit their length of stay, and exercise extreme caution.  …” []

US embassy travel warning

Actually Compton and other gang filled cities in Los Angeles county and say North Las Vegas or San Francisco’s Hunter point area at night probably are more violent on a friday night than Davao City or any major city in Mindanao. The US attitude however is to err on the side caution always in its warnings after nine – eleven but to lable the entire region as risky – would be like saying – Jersey City is dangerous because of organized crime.

Political rallies can be colorful and often are a highlight of entertainment and public speaking by leaders in locals communities – watching from a distance might be safer – large crowds often can be unpredictable – and – pickpockets and petty crime is sometimes a problem. Violence is also a risk. IED bomb attacks numbered 98 last yar alone throughout the Philippines – although most were in areas of conflict in Southern Mindanao’s Sulu Islands. Philippine security forces defused double that number through out the country preventing over 100 attacks – hence – yes – bombs are a real risk and large crowds pose a tempting target. One need only remember the Madrid train bombings which happened just days before Spanish elections to see that risk as real and not imagined.

A similar plot was fouled by Police a few days before – Madrid’s deadly attacks – when 80 ready to use back-pack bombs werer uncovered along with RPG BP40 rockets in very suburban wuezon city in 2004.  One bomb did get thrugh and destroyed a huge inter island ferry that same year during the 2006 super ferry bombing which killed 100.

Election related violence is a key issue in many races – throughout the country.

13 days to E-day: Violence looms as key issue

I think what embassy’s are doing are just taking precautions for their nationals sake and trying to be as safe rather than sorry – but – still perhaps more detailed warnings rather than blanket alerts would be better. To be honest with you there are I times when traveling in say Cotabato and Maguidanao I feel safer than in some parts of South Central LA at night. MS13 for example has killed more people than the Abu Sayyaf has this year – and – other gang related killings have made many US cities as war torn as Afghanistan without the IED’s and roadside bombs-. So safety is relative to where you are a college campus in Virgina or a street in Manila its always good to be safe and secure.

Another topic noted the threat of terror attacks during the elections was a possible  event to be mindful of as groups might use security forces preoccupation with the election process as a chance to sow terror.

[]”…“We continue to believe that terrorists and criminal elements plan to kidnap foreign tourists from islands and coastal areas in the southern Philippines – i.e. Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. Kidnappings from other parts of the Philippines cannot be discounted. Boats traveling to and from offshore islands and dive sites are possible targets,” “[] . British embassy warning

US warning:

[]”… U.S. citizens contemplating travel to the Philippines should carefully onsider the risks to their safety and security while there, including  those due to terrorism.  While travelers may encounter such threats nywhere in the Philippines, the southern island of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago are of particular concern.  Travelers should exercise extreme caution in both central and western Mindanao as well as in the Sulu Archipelago.

Kidnap for ransom gangs operate in the Philippines.  In January 2007,
one such gang abducted two U.S. citizen children outside their home in
Tagum City, Davao Del Norte, in Mindanao.  The New People’s Army
(NPA), another terrorist organization, operates in many rural areas of
the Philippines, including in the northern island of Luzon.  While it
has not targeted westerners in several years, the NPA could threaten
U.S. citizens engaged in business or property management activities,
and it often demands “revolutionary taxes.”

Terrorist groups, such as the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Jema’ah
Islamiyah, and groups that have broken away from the more mainstream  Moro Islamic Liberation Front or Moro National Liberation Front have carried out bombings resulting in deaths, injuries and property damage.

Recent incidents have occurred in urbanized areas in
Mindanao.  On January 10, 2007, separate bombings in the cities of
Kidapawan, Cotabato and General Santos killed seven people and injured 1.  While these incidents do not appear to have targeted Westerners  or Western interests, travelers should remain vigilant and avoid ongregating in public areas.

Many people who reside in or visit areas that face terrorist threats,
such as in Mindanao, travel with their own security force, avoid an
obvious presence, or both.  In some areas of the Philippines,
especially in Mindanao, visitors should avoid travel at night outside
metropolitan areas.  U.S. Government employees must seek special
permission for travel to Mindanao or the Sulu Archipelago.  When
traveling in Mindanao, U.S. official travelers attempt to lower their
profile, limit their length of stay, and exercise extreme caution.

The Department strongly encourages Americans in the Philippines to
register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Manila
through the State Department’s travel registration website,
https://travelregistration.state.gov. The U.S. Embassy is located at:
1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines, tel. 63-2-528-6300. The
Consular American Citizen Services (ACS) section’s fax number is
63-2-522-3242 and the ACS web page is at
http://usembassy.state.gov/posts/rp1/wwwhmain.html.  … “[]

May 2, 2007 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Global Terrorism: Attacks increase 25% – 20,498 killed in 2006

In a report by the US Department of State to the US congress has revealed that terrorism has increased over 25% year on year and fatalities have increased by forty per cent.

The figures put into perspective the figures and deaths that while often inder reproted in media there i a major conflict on at World War Level that many in media often chose to ignore. Some 74,543 civilians were targeted.

[]”… In the annual report to Congress includes analysis from the National Counterterrorism Center, a U.S. intelligence clearinghouse, which found only a slight increase in the overall number of civilians killed, injured or kidnapped by terrorists in 2006. But the attacks were more frequent and deadlier, with a 25 percent jump in the number of terrorist attacks and a 40 percent increase in civilian fatalities from the previous year.

In 2006, NCTC reported, there were a total of 14,338 terrorist attacks around the world. These attacks targeted 74,543 civilians and resulted in 20,498 deaths. …”[]

Iraq: Center of global terrorism action 

The report clearly shows that the center of the attacks is Iraq: ” Violence in Iraq accounted for 45 percent of the overall attacks counted by NCTC and 65 percent of worldwide terrorism deaths.  Terrorist incidents in Iraq nearly doubled from 3,468 in 2005 to 6,630 in 2006. “

It went on further to say : “Although kidnappings declined by 50 percent internationally, Iraq experienced a 300 percent increase, according to NCTC.” an indication as shown by experience here in the Philippines that KFR and terrorism are linked. Kidnapping for Ransom is often used by terror groups and in some cases insurgents as means to both ensure community ‘cooperation’ and also a means to raise revenue.

The Philippines: ” the ‘Success’ story in war vs. terror’

The 2006 US State Department global report on counter terrorism praises  the country  citing “‘the Philippines” as among others in the region who are, ” playing leading roles in confronting threats from groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf.”

[] ” Philippines
The Philippines, one of the earliest supporters of the War on Terror, continued its bilateral and multilateral counterterrorism efforts. In August, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) launched “Operation Ultimatum”, a concerted effort to capture or kill the top Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) operatives on Jolo Island in the South. The operation has been highly successful to date as a number of ASG and JI members have been captured or killed since its inception. Philippine forces recently eliminated both Khadaffy Janjalani, the nominal leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group, and ASG spokesperson, Abu Solaiman. Operation Ultimatum is one feature of a U.S.- assisted strategy to strengthen the rule of law in the Sulu archipelago. Joint U.S.-Philippines military exercises know as “Balikatan” supported the Philippine government’s campaign to separate terrorists from the general population and diminish support for their cause. The Antiterrorism Task Force arrested, captured, or killed 88 suspected terrorists, and seized over 900 kilograms of explosive materials. Philippine authorities also made some progress in tracking, blocking, and seizing terrorists’ assets.

Despite some successes, major evidentiary and procedural obstacles in the Philippines continued to hinder the building of effective terrorism cases. A large and growing case backlog and the absence of consistent trials against terrorists were impediments to the prosecution of suspected terrorists. Despite plans dating back to 2001, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had yet to introduce a digitized, machine-readable passport. While the Philippines cooperated with U.S. requests for prosecutions for persons who had tampered or altered travel documents, the prosecutions carried low-level penalties for those convicted of such fraud. In addition, there was a reluctance to investigate or charge vendors or users of false documents. Under current Philippine law, the suspect must present the fraudulent document to a Philippine government authority in order for a crime to have been committed. At year’s end, a counterterrorism bill approved in April by the House of Representatives remained in the Senate.

The Philippines experienced 93 bombings, ranging from improvised explosive devices and grenades to landmines, including:

  • In February, the bombing of a karaoke bar located near a Philippine military base in Jolo left one dead and 22 injured.
  • In March, a bomb exploded at the Sulu Consumers Cooperative in Jolo killing nine people and injuring 20.
  • In June, a roadside bombing in Shariff Aguak killed three people and injured eight.
  • In August, two bombs exploded almost simultaneously in Kidapawan City injuring three people.
  • In September, a bomb exploded at a public market in General Santos City killing two people and injuring six.
  • In October, a bomb exploded near the headquarters of the Sulu Philippine National Police in Jolo injuring two persons.
  • In a separate October attack, three bombs exploded in Tacurong, Sultan Kudurat; Makilala, North Cotabato; and Cotabato City killing eight people and injuring over 30.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) was empowered by the Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA), as amended in 2003, to investigate and prosecute money laundering. The AMLC is the lead agency responsible for implementing the asset freeze measures called for by the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee. Under current law, however, the AMLC cannot take direct action against suspected terrorists or those supporting terrorism, but must apply for a court order to inquire into bank accounts and direct the freezing of assets and transactions. The AMLC sometimes needed several months to issue the relevant resolution to the Court of Appeals after receiving information about a newly-listed terrorist entity and circulating it to the financial institutions. The AMLC has 91 cases pending in various stages with the courts, including 34 for money laundering, 24 for civil forfeiture, and the rest pertaining to freeze orders and bank inquiries. The slow judicial process hindered efforts by the AMLC to see these cases through to conclusion; a trial can take up to seven years to complete. In April, a bilateral U.S.-Philippines Security Engagement Board (SEB) was inaugurated to address non-traditional security issues, including counterterrorism and maritime security. The SEB set the stage for the “Kapid Bisig” (Shoulder-to-Shoulder) counterterrorism framework that focused on civil affairs, capability upgrades, and support for AFP operations. The United States assisted the Philippines in establishing an interagency intelligence fusion center in Zamboanga City to support both maritime interdictions against transnational criminal/terrorist organizations, and the “coast watch” system in Mindanao, established with Australian assistance. ” []

AFGHANISTAN & South Asia attacks up: 

The report also found a 50 percent increase in terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, from 491 incidents in 2005 to 749 in 2006. To defeat the resurgent threat, the report urges the international community deliver promised assistance and continue working with Afghans to build counterinsurgency capabilities, ensure legitimate and effective governance and counter a surge in narcotics cultivation.

” NCTC reported that the majority of terrorist attacks remain centered in the Middle East and South Asia, but noted that overall attacks in South Asia declined by 10 percent. ” so says the State department press release.

Child victims of attacks increase 80% increase in casualties:

Children were increasingly the victims of terrorism in 2006, with 1,800 killed or injured in attacks, an 80 percent increase from the previous year.  As in 2005, government officials, teachers and journalists remain the leading professionals targeted by terrorists, according to the report.

VENEZUELA: Hugo Chavez: possible state Sponsor?

The report also claims that Venezuela’s leader may be seen as major figure in state sponsored terrorism soon, ” President Hugo Chavez has strengthened ties with Cuba and Iran and has allowed terrorist groups and drug traffickers from neighboring Colombia to cross its borders.  ” says US State Department in its press release.

However looking over the report at length it did cite the cooperation of Venezuelan police in protecting the US Embassy. ” An individual claiming to be a member of an Islamic extremist group in Venezuela placed two pipe bombs outside the American Embassy in Caracas on October 23.” But went on to say, ” Venezuelan police safely disposed of the two pipe bombs and immediately made one arrest.”

The report also cited that. “The investigation by Venezuelan authorities resulted in the additional arrest of the alleged ideological leader of the group. At year’s end, both suspects remained in jail and prosecutors were pressing terrorism charges against them.” yet in other  areas of ideological  conflict Venezuela  still supports or so the US State Department report says – Narco Terrorism and leftist rebel groups who have engaged in terror attacks versus Americans and American companies.

[] “… President Hugo Chavez persisted in public criticism of U.S. counterterrorism efforts, deepened Venezuelan relationships with Iran and Cuba, and was unwilling to prevent Venezuelan territory from being used as a safe haven by the FARC and ELN, effectively flouting UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1540, which form part of the legal basis of international counterterrorism efforts.

Chavez’ ideological sympathy for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) limited Venezuelan cooperation with Colombia in combating terrorism. FARC and ELN units often crossed into Venezuelan territory to rest and regroup with relative impunity. Splinter groups of the FARC and another designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, the United Self- Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), operated in various parts of Venezuela and were involved in narcotrafficking.

It remained unclear to what extent the Venezuelan government provided material support to Colombian terrorists. However, limited amounts of weapons and ammunition — some from official Venezuelan stocks and facilities — have turned up in the hands of Colombian terrorist organizations. The Venezuelan government did not systematically police the 1,400-mile Venezuelan-Colombian border to prevent the movement of groups of armed terrorists or to interdict arms or the flow of narcotics.”[]

The full text of Country Reports on Terrorism 2006 is available on the State Department Web site.

May 1, 2007 at 7:01 am Leave a comment

Philippines:Elections 2007 violence ‘bad but not worse than 2004′- PNP

As Filipinos are to vote for 12 senators, more than 200 congressional representatives and some 17,000 local positions.

[]”… PNP observes downtrend in poll-related violence
Philippine Information Agency, Philippines - by A. Lumaque. Roxas City (30 April) — A downtrend in election-related violence in the country has been noted by the Philippine National Police in view of …[]

The Philippines National Police per media reports has seen and is warning of an escalation in violence as polls near.

One person killed, six wounded in shooting in Philippines
Two dead, 14 wounded in shootout in northern Philippines
One wounded, two missing in new Philippine political attack
Gunmen open fire at political rally in Philippines; six wounded

In the last elections here in 2004 – the political process has traditionally been marked by election related violence. In 2004 during the presidential and national elections, more than 140 people were killed in various shootings, attacks and clashes related to the polls.

Also in the mix has been the reality that ‘third party’ groups on the fringes often use the attention diversion of Police and Military to carry out acts – such as the Dos Palmas Kidnapping – In 2001 that Terror attack was timed with the polls as the abu sayyaf used the vacuum of attention to strike.

Even now on Jolo Island heavy fighting is ongoing and in other areas stepped up attacks by insurgent and terror groups have seen an upsurge – in some cases related to the elections – leading some suspect that some local political groups are tapping or allowing themselves to be used by ‘rebel’ groups or funding those actions or so the Military and Police suspect.

PNP hunts suspect in shooting of San Carlos City mayor

PNP hunts suspect in shooting of San Carlos City mayor

1,200 police officers to patrol Manila on Labor Day

1,200 police officers to patrol Manila on Labor Day

Congressional bet Solema Jubilan accidentally shot by aide

Congressional bet Solema Jubilan accidentally shot by aide

Amidst this – Police warn of more hostilities as the election day nears as political rivalries intensify. Even however with the current level of reports of killings and violence with two weeks to go til the polls – the situation if looked at on the basis of investigated killings shows 28 election related deaths since January – although a increase in the number of incidents – less deaths than the 2004 polls with tywo weeks to go.

April 29, 2007 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

Julia Campbell:“robbery with homicide or rape with homicide,” -Senior Supt. Pedro Ganir police chief of Ifugao province

A grim picture is developing in the death or alleged killing of a US peace crops volunteer in the Philippines.

[]…Julia Campbell, the US Peace Corps volunteer who was found dead in a grave in Banaue, Ifugao, was bludgeoned by her assailant, ABS-CBN’s “Bandila” reported Thursday….”[] ABS-CBNNews

Police are searching for the husband of a woman who is last person to have been seen alive with Julia Campbell – who police believe is the man who was seen on two occasions and in US police terms would be described as a ‘person of interest’.

One: He was alleged to have been seen leaving the area hurriedly near the dry creek bed where her body was ‘intentionally buried’. – The same man being sought by police- was identified by three separate media reports as the husband of Grace Duntogan – who owns a small store in the area.

The same man it is alleged was reportedly seen carrying her backpack and hurriedly leaving the scene of a shallow grave where she was later discovered by Police, Army, and, civilian search teams.

VIDEO: GMA.TV

</b> Police have child witness in Campbell case

Saksi: Police have child witness in Campbell case

Media reports from wire agencies and GMA.tv, ABS-CBNnews.com, and the Inquirer.net if put into context all point to one man – as at least having been the last person seen with her alive and also later seen hurriedly leaving her make-shift grave. all 734 news articles »

  1. Senior Supt. Raul Gonzales, Cordillera Administrative Region police chief, said that it appeared that Campbell was intentionally buried in the area where her body was found at a dry creek. “There was soil, sand and grass, so the burial was intentional,” Gonzales said.
  2. Police are seeking the husband of Grace Duntogan, 24, who recalled Campbell came to her store at around 3 p.m. on April 8 – she sold her a soft drink. Her husband was seen near her grave prior to it being discovered by a 13 yr boy now in police custody. The man is nowhere to be found according to police Senior Supt. Pedro Ganir, police chief of Ifugao province,
  3. Campbell’s (‘Julia’) was intentionally buried in the area where her body was found at a dry creek. “There was soil, sand and grass, so the burial was intentional,”- Senior Supt. Raul Gonzales, Cordillera Administrative Region police chief
  4. Police are attempting to locate a man who was reportedly seen carrying Julia Campbell’s backpack before the US Peace Corps volunteer disappeared on Easter Sunday.

In hindsight – considering locals statements in the area who claim tourism is a major source of income for them. Most do not believe either robbery or any other reason could be seen as the possible motive for Julia Campbell being killed.

A theory being raised is Campbell slipped and fell while being led by ‘a guide’. That fearing repercussions locals or a local buried her – hoping to hide the body until a time when search teams left the area. Knowing that they would be blamed by locals or fearing perhaps possible criminal problems.

Only a medico legal examination can truly tell – but- Diplomatic officials meddling is what should purely be criminal investigation – per local police in the area who are causing the delay in the reporting of actual scientific findings and ending speculation was at the insistence of US officials at the American embassy that a pathologist chosen from japan by the state department over advice of both US law enforcement officials based in the region and Philippine counterparts. There are FBI and Scotalnd Yard trained forensic exmainers avialble here.

Privately – many forces are at play worried that results of any investigation may affect local tourism in the area also international tourists who do bring in a lot of income to the local community.

Having grown up in a tourist town myself – I know the feeling whenever a crime or accident occurs involving a tourist.

it affects the entire local economy.

The longer the investigation results take and medical findings are released and results are given.

The entire village of Batad – not just one reisident is affected- the Banue community an entire region – not just an individual from there- stand accused of a ‘alleged crime’ and they too deserver the right to know what happened.

As well as the victims family and friends – this makes this tragedy a tougher issue for all parties and to the victim and her memory and good deeds of the past two years she did serving people in under-developed communities like the small village she tragically died in.

April 20, 2007 at 5:51 am 1 comment

Philippines and Singapore top global biz survey for growth

At the Corporate level the Philippines and Singapore have topped a recent survey of growth among the corporate firms increasing in size in 2006. The report carried by many news organizations was a business story I found on the pages of Brunei Times – a very conservative paper based in the Sultanate on Borneo.

[] “…AN international survey shows that the Philippines is among the top 10 countries with the highest proportion of booming businesses.

From the 23rd spot last year, the Philippines catapulted to 8th place this year, indicating the country’s growing share of super-growth companies, according to the Grant Thornton International Business Report.

The report surveyed 7,200 privately held businesses representing 81 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and determined which of the respondents are super-growth companies. The survey covered 32 countries, including powerhouses the United States, Germany and Japan, as well as emerging Asian markets like China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. …” [[ THE MANILA TIMES

The figures show the Philippines tied at over 27 per cent corporate growth and among the worlds top in the speed of the rising corporate sector jobs. One can see this on a daily basis in any of Metro Manila’s business districts – the majority of the growth is fueled by investment and renewed spending by people in the rapidly growing BPO or Business Process Outsourcing firms existing in the country.

NBN Teledyaryo on YOUTUBE

While conservative estimate put the figure at around 200,000 new jobs created in the sector in the last year – real figures and part employment levels show the figure to be skyrocketing to a level of above 300,000 jobs in the sector mostly seen for ‘call center work’ but missed out are other higher value services like accou8nting, book-keeping, inventory, sales, and technical functions like website and graphic design. One major advantage continued to be held is the growth level in ‘overnights’ where services are rendered between 6pm and 8am eastern time of the USA where Manila is a perfect 12 hour time shift for overnight work – while London is also another point – with a 8 hour toss in time.

Meaning firms in this 24/7 world of business – are able to be ‘up and alive’ at quitting time – savings on overtime alone – make for huge returns and higher efficiency figures on US shores – it also shows in the same survey – that US firms top the list with 4 of t 10 getting high levels of growth. Partly fueled by Outsourcing which has allowed companies to expand domestic services in other areas.

March 30, 2007 at 8:22 am 1 comment

Left Coast goes Gaga over Apple spoof ad hitting Hillary

There are several groups – looking at the New Vision of politics that is on the web and powered by YOUTUBE. Here in Asia being bashed on youtube means a political figure is noticed – so a Tube or two even a critical one is still a tube.

To those on the right wing of things who have been bashed and battered for the last few years on google videos, youtube, grouper, and others – the posting of a video versus the demcrats fronts runner seems to bring little more than a shrug and a ‘welcome to the club’ responce.

But to California’s media see’s it as a heracy of sorts a attack on what ‘they’ feel will set things ‘left’ of center anew in the White House and bring back the good old days of ‘Bubba’ back to 1600 Penn Ave.

Already under the influence of a San Francisco speaker and with congress firmly back in the groove – soon some hope on the left the days of sex, drugs, and rock and roll at the white house will be back.

Reading the headlines of west coast papers one sees editors – and reporters – if you want to call them that – putting a huge headline spin and some even seeing grand conspiracy theory over a short Internet video – built on a old apple Macintosh advert from the 1980’s redone with perhaps simple home editing software and recasting Hillary in a ominous role of evil ruler.

Hillary’s Politics are sooo 1984 [Video]
AlterNet, CA - 4 hours ago
A video spoof lays bare the artificiality of Hillary Clinton’s attempt to run her campaign as a one-way “national conversation.”
Who is the person behind the Clinton attack ad?
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - 5 hours ago
(03-19) 17:53 PDT — Just who is “ParkRidge47″ – the mystery figure who introduced an Internet political attack ad that has stirred the press and political
Big Sister Clinton (2.0)
New York Times, NY - 5 hours ago
By Patrick Healy. Wondering what this presidential campaign might look like in the world of “Web 2.0” social networking sites?

Obama supporter casts Clinton as Big Brother
Independent, UK - 6 hours ago
By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles. It is the most striking, perhaps most powerful advertisement to come out of the US presidential campaign to date: a

In the advert – which is based on a George Orwell novel about a fictional state of total control – ironically put Hillary – in the mold of ‘ruler’ in total control. Unlikely casting – I mean she couldn’t even keep Bill in check in the governors mansion or the white house – so ruling with a iron fist seems unlikely.

Mystery YouTuber slams Hillary in name of Obama
Boston Herald - By Jesse Noyes. A 74-second ad painting Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in a pale-blue Orwellian light, while praising rival Barack Obama, is making waves on video sharing site YouTube.
The YouTube Effect (Part XIII) Washington Post
Obama fan targets rival Hillary with internet clip Unison.ie (subscription)

Most likely it was some ids class project – a simple cut and past edit using any number of off the shelf software could do it.

In responce the pack of pro-hillarites are out in force and producing the videos to bash the likely suspects. Seems a lot of effort for what might be afterall something put out by Hillary supporters in strange – backlash styled PR campaign used commonly by those seeking sympathy.

Seems this is going to be the YOUTUBE election.

Here in the Philippines this type of thing has been going on for about three years now on youtube and other video sites. I’ve seen an interesting similar clip done showing the current philippine president posted in satire over the movie ‘V for vendetta’ -and other films – redone using a simple screen overlap.

While the Politics of the US is as all politcal throery domeistic in focus – it is interesting to note on YOUTUBE and using spoofs and technology have the Phgilippines on equal or even ahead of the game on youtube political satire.

March 20, 2007 at 2:13 pm Leave a comment

Philippines: Under women ‘on top’ – survey

In this ‘macho’ country of my birth, Women are on top – so says a recent management survey that among the countries of Asia women head a majority of the country’s management posts in both the private and government sector. A leap forard far ahead of China or even Singapore.

One can see that from the President down, many of the top slots in this Asian home Latin machismo – that men are confident enough to realize that women can be on top and enjoy it.

Philippines Emerges Tops For Women In Management Positions
Playfuls.com, Romania - 1 hour ago
Women in Singapore are lagging behind their counterparts in neighbouring Asian countries in holding senior management positions, while the Philippines
Philippines emerges tops for women in management positions Monsters and Critics.com
Women in senior management: Malaysia ranks No 3 New Straits Times
Poll: Most mainland firms have women holding senior positions China Daily

From my first job in journalism; To today I have worked under women bosses and male ones who were borderline – ‘gender prefernence not biological’ boy are boys and girls are girls whatever they like to play with.

But to think that there is more ‘a more caring’ workplace because of a persons gender might be too simplistic a view.

It often does not depend on gender but on the person in the job in charge. A meglomaniac will be what they are,  a heartless human being will be what he or she is, a perso’s attidtudes are influencd by many things. Often schools, How they formulated their values, and what they believe or do not believe in.

At a company I worked for a decade or more some of the most heartless lay-off’s and cut throat firing with a total lack of concern for peoples lives – those decisions I have seen in the stable of what was once considered Asia’s most admired media company have been the most strangely heartless in company run by women in many of the top posts now. So thinking a woman ‘on top’ means a more ‘kinder workplace’ is often a misconception.

Over at their competition the same situation exists but they seem to have more ‘heart’ and care for the employee’s. It has shown in the ratings game – people made a paradigm shift to the more ‘caring network’ a few years back – strangely enough the situation is true across the board rooms of the country. Where companies are better caring towards their employee’s those seem to be the better run and more efficient – than those run by bosses of whatever gender but heartless in their decisions.

Perhaps it is a way those seeking to impress stockholders and owners want to seem more westernized in their approach to things and more aggressive. To cover up perhaps for failings in other areas like raising income levels. By cutting off costs to make them seem more efficient.

Overall though most companies run by women in this country do not- thankfully- follow that model – copying failed biz-models of a heartless corporate workplace with little concern for people who really make things work well.

The numbers do speak well – so far the overall level of corpate gender equality in pay and work skill level is equal in many ways. More often than not it is not gender.

But the person running the show and their own personal training and skills that males thing work well – be it in the private or public sectors.

March 8, 2007 at 3:32 pm 1 comment

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A Thousand Years by Kris Kros

Relaxing at Yosemite River

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A Peaceful and Happy 4th of July from Yosemite Valley

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