Six presidential bets may face disqualification over campaign materials

Six of nine Philippine presidential candidates may face disqualification after their campaign materials have reportedly exceeded size limits and were allegedly posted in areas where these are disallowed.

Several campaign materials of Senator Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III (Liberal Party), former president Joseph M. Ejercito Estrada (Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino-UNO), Senator Richard J. Gordon (Bagumbayan), Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. (Lakas-Kampi-CMD), evangelist Eddie C. Villanueva (Bangon Pilipinas), and Senator Manuel Villar Jr. (Nacionalista Party) seem to violate campaign regulations, a Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson told reporters.

These candidates are facing possible disqualification for possible violation of rules covering campaign materials, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said, citing documentation collected by the body’s Education and Information Department (EID).

Campaign materials of vice presidential candidates Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay and former Metro Manila Development Authority chief Bayani Fernando and senatorial aspirants Senator Lito Lapid, Atty. JV Bautista, and broadcaster Rey Langit were also found to have breached the poll body’s restrictions.

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Gordon, Fernando file COCs for president, vice president

MANILA, Philippines – Banking on their backgrounds as mayors of Olongapo and Marikina City, Sen. Richard Gordon and former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando joined the bandwagon of those seeking the country’s two highest elective posts.

Fernando reached out to Gordon a few weeks ago to run as his (Fernando’s) vice president, but he was instead convinced to slide down and run under the Bagumbayan platform.

Fernando said he was giving way to a more senior and experienced colleague.

Gordon explained that his team up with Fernando is very formidable because they are banking on their vast experience as local executives, bringing progress to their constituents through political will.

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Text in and be tracked

There’s another innovative project that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is experimenting on, which the populace seems to welcome and wishes to be further expanded, in contrast to some that have been proven to be unpopular but have stayed on for unexplained reasons, like the much maligned u-turns.

The ‘Trip Tracker’ is introduced by MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando to secure people who take public transport by logging the vehicles’ description, body number and plate number for possible future reference or tracking should something untoward happens to the commuter.

In an interview I had with MMDA executive, Angelito Vergel de Dios on the segment Motoring Forumof the long-running TV show Motoring Today, the executive director for traffic operations described how the system works. All a commuter has to do upon riding on the public utility vehicle is to text his or her name and the particulars of the vehicle. All these information would be logged into a central file and can be easily accessed should there be a need to track the said vehicle.

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MMDA told: No 30-day notice, no demolition

THE SUPREME COURT Yesterday said its December 2008 order directing government agencies to clean up Manila Bay didn’t authorize the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to evict illegal settlers without first giving them prior notice.

“While the MMDA’s zeal in improving the state of Manila’s drainage system and water bodies is laudable, this endeavor cannot go against the rights of those whose dwellings are in danger of being torn down,” the high court clarified.

The court resolution was prompted by a motion filed by an urban poor group which asked the court to clarify the MMDA’s authority to tear down illegal structures along waterways.

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Classes in Metro Manila suspended today

Classes in all levels in the National Capital Region are suspended today for the final State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Arroyo and 95th founding anniversary of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC).

The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) cited the anticipated heavy traffic as its reason for the class suspension.

“In view of the expected heavy traffic on Monday from the coinciding major events of the Sona and the grand celebration of the INC, classes in all public and private pre-school, elementary and high schools would be suspended on July 27,” DepEd National Capital Region director Teresita Domalanta said.

Ched Chairman Emmanuel Angeles, for his part, said he is ordering the suspension of classes in the tertiary level, noting the center of INC celebrations would be in Metro Manila.

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MMDA to build concrete dividers in EDSA

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced that the plan is under way to construct concrete dividers along the entire stretch of the Epifanio delos Santos Avenue to keep public utility buses (PUBs) within the yellow lanes.

MMDA’s Traffic Engineering Center said the yellow lane “separators” are concrete strips that are high enough to prevent errant PUBs from going out of the yellow lanes, where they are supposed to stay.

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