February 18, 2018, 12:52 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07035 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03736 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0341 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37852 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02417 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0341 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03831 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.58755 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03006 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00722 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.54368 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02532 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13142 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06189 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.22893 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18046 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 383.5249 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03827 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02404 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01774 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.3659 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12153 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.27203 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.83966 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.70268 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39128 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.38755 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.115 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93544 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.16856 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24138 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33716 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52165 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01543 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03813 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01366 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01366 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08656 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89866 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.37548 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14054 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.9364 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14982 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45019 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11447 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.21437 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.80326 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 259.67432 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06787 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23063 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.68199 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 709.84673 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91667 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.39444 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01355 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03307 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.93774 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30544 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.53257 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.57567 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.24138 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.41552 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00573 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01571 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.12088 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.62069 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.83908 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.97165 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44272 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22308 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0584 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01189 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02534 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17539 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31734 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9454 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.42146 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.82375 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15425 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.68582 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61303 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29828 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.66743 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35467 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07454 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22274 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.87739 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59195 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14901 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96697 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02593 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00737 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06225 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06025 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11398 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0642 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.68774 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06973 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07198 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.08044 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.10153 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07184 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14875 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25546 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34393 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15255 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02511 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01367 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4254 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.16858 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.76628 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 378.35439 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16762 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.86552 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22276 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59923 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04546 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04238 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07167 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12904 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.55669 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.02682 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51715 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 69.38697 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54521 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 156.47509 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 477.73945 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 434.75095 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01916 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04802 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.11303 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05172 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.11303 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81628 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.78831 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22279 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.41571 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.93295 Zimbabwe dollar

Whiff of corruption

I WILL not tolerate even a whiff of corruption”, so says President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong.
Is there a whiff of corruption in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)?
More than a whiff, it would seem, if Sandra Cam, a recent appointee of Digong as a PCSO board member and gambling consultant Charlie “Atong” Ang who, Digong admitted was asked by him to help “cleanse” the PCSO, were to be believed.
Both Cam and Ang accused PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan of corruption during a Senate hearing recently, which the latter denied. 
Cam cited the lavish PCSO Christmas Party held at 5-star Shangrila Plaza Hotel which she said cost P10 million, but which Balutan said cost “only” P6 million.
Ang accused Balutan and former PCSO chairman Jose Corpuz of allegedly giving out Small Town Lottery (STL) franchises to private individuals “para lang kumita kayong lahat”, as well as allegedly doling out money to parties that are not intended recipients of PCSO funds.
Cam and Balutan have since been hurling accusations publicly at each other which obviously is not good for the agency and somehow puts Digong’s pledge to rid his administration of even a whiff of corruption under a cloud of doubt.
Digong told Cam to make peace with Balutan but the latter reportedly merely shrugged off the idea of mending fences with Cam and said he would rather keep his feelings to himself. 
Cam likewise said she will not reconcile with Balutan.
“I will not reconcile with Balutan. I am very firm with my la patria advocacy, the love of country first. PRRD is just joking on that… You know the President always cracks a joke. I can’t compromise my stand against corruption. I’m just following the marching order of PRRD that corruption must stop now,” Cam said.
As an ardent supporter of Digong commented, “Make peace? Paano na ‘yung alleged corruption against Balutan? Di ba dapat imbestigahan ‘yun?”
In the meantime, the whiff of corruption in the PCSO persists. 
People expect a more decisive action on the part of Digong.

COMELEC
AND SMARTMATIC

Another whiff of corruption?
The decision of the Commission on Elections to purchase the vote counting machines from scandal-ridden Smartmatic, Inc. reeks of a midnight deal which is nothing really new. Former Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes also signed a different deal with Smartmatic on the eve of his retirement some years ago.
And, lest we forget, another former Comelec chairman, Andres Bautista, had to resign rather than be impeached due to allegations of irregularity in conducting the 2016 elections with the use of the same Smartmatic vote counting machines.
Both Brillantes and Bautista were appointees of ex-President Noynoy Aquino.
This time, acting Comelec chairman Christian Robert Lim, another appointee of Aquino, concluded with Smartmatic the election body’s decision to exercise its “option to purchase (OTP)” more than 97,000 units of the machines to be used for the mid-term elections next year.
Presidential political affairs adviser Francis Tolentino, however, claimed that the contract was irregular because it was approved by the Comelec on 18 December 2017 and signed by Lim on January 12 this year, three weeks before he retired.
“It is highly irregular that a contract of such national significance was consummated bereft of the required transparency (public notice or public bidding) needed by the electorate,” Tolentino said.
Lim, however, said the decision to purchase the machines which were also used in the 2016 elections was due to a tight budget. He also denied it was a “midnight deal”.
What people find a little strange is the complete absence of any comment or reaction from Digong or his spokesman on a matter of such national significance. What gives?
We hope it has nothing to do with the Comelec being a supposedly independent body as reportedly invoked by the Palace spokesman. The Office of the Ombudsman, for instance, is also an independent body but that has not stopped Malacañang from “intervening” in its affairs on occasions.

NEW DRUG LORDS IN NBP
 
After a succession of different heads of the New Bilibid Prison and tapping the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) to guard the national penitentiary, it is now reported that there are new drug lords operating in the facility.
According to the PNP-SAF, the new drug lords are able to conduct their illicit activity because cellphones are still being smuggled almost everyday into the prison. To date, 3,666 have reportedly been confiscated.
Moreover, the PNP-SAF says some signal jammers in the facility have been out of order. Do these jammers conk out on their own? Once installed, jammers should normally remain working unless someone or something decommissions them.
Let’s watch what happens when PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa takes over as head of the Bureau of Corrections.
***
REMINDERS
This segment is intended to remind the administration of some of its yet unfulfilled promises and matters that need attention and/or follow-up action. More importantly, the people are entitled to know what’s being done about them.
1) Digong’s promise to rid the country of foreign troops. This, of course, necessitates re-visiting the lopsided VFA and the EDCA with the US. 
2) Reciprocal visa arrangements with the US and other countries. 
3) The retrieval of the Balangiga bells.
4) The return of the Canadian waste.
5) The immediate implementation of the FOI.
With respect to No. 1, what steps have the Departments of Foreign Affairs and National Defense taken so far on the matter?
With respect to Nos. 2, 3 and 4, what steps is the DFA taking on them?
With respect to No. 5, has the PCOO given substance and meaning to the Executive Order on the FOI? The people are asking for guidelines.
***
Today is the 272nd day of the eleventh year of the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos, son of the late press icon and founder of this newspaper, Joe Burgos.
After the acquittal of Major Harry Baliaga, Jr., the only person formally charged with Jonas’ kidnapping, I guess what happens next is now up to Divine Providence.
***
From an internet friend:
Three little lads were on their way home from school when one of them noticed a red Ferrari parked at the side of the road. 
He said: “When I’m older I’m going to get a great job and buy one of them.”
The second lad said: “I am going to university to get a great education, and a great job and buy one also.” 
The third lad says: “I’m going to get a job like my sister.” 
The other two asked what she did. 
“She’s a prostitute.” 
“What’s a prostitute?” the other two ask. 
“I don’t know, but that’s my sister’s car.” 
***
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