• AES anomaly could be bigger than we realize


    A friend from abroad, who regularly visits the Philippines and takes keen interest in political and business developments here, has written me a long note in reaction to my column (“The question Comelec must answer,” Manila Times, 17 May 2016), and in comment on Smartmatic’s tampering with the Comelec transparency server.

    I reproduce his note in this space today because of his unsettling warning that this anomaly could be more complex and bigger than we realize.

    My friend and reader is a business executive who has done much work in integrating information technology in business management. He knows what he is talking about.

    Comelec’s staggering unprofessionalism and irresponsibility

    He wrote:
    “I was astounded that the first principles of database security and change management were completely flouted by Comelec and Smartmatic. It immediately raised a red flag and confirmed that elections in the Philippines are determined not by who votes, but by who counts the votes.

    “The fact that Comelec is so blase about something so critical shows either a complete lack of IT understanding, or something more sinister.

    “The level of unprofessionalism and irresponsibility displayed by Comelec is staggering.

    “Firstly, you never make a change to a live running system, and an untested change at that.

    “Secondly, you never give a supplier free, and sole, access to your systems.

    “Thirdly, all changes must go through a formal change control procedure, duly tested and signed off.

    “In computing there is the use of Trojan Horses—these are simple and innocuous commands which trigger pre-embedded routines.

    “Modern Trojan Horses are difficult to detect, and often ‘clean up’ after themselves, particularly if a second change was made at a later time/date.

    “The mystery of Smartmatic personnel at a hotel a few days prior to the election was never resolved but they could well have been testing a number of scripts to enact a number of scenarios. They seem to have had free rein over the system whenever they wanted.

    “The existence of a secret/intermediary server also necessitates further questions.

    “Access to the source code, the systems log, and interviewing the systems administrator should be done sooner rather than later or records will disappear, and personnel will have left the country….

    “Any ability to install a Trojan horse in the system must be considered as a potential for subverting an election.

    “Trojan horses, trapdoors, interpreted data, and other subversions can be hidden, even in systems that have received extensive scrutiny. The integrity of the entire computer-aided election process may be compromised internally.

    “The whole episode points to collusion and corruption.

    “Smartmatic, aka Smartfraud, has captured the market in elections in third-world countries.

    “With a customer list of Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines, no reputable country would trust their democracy to them!

    “Only in the Philippines do cheats prosper.”

    This could help in the various efforts to correct and repair the damage the breach of security has done to our 2016 elections.

    Bongbong seeks systems audit
    By the time this column sees life in print or online, the camp of Sen. Bongbong Marcos should already have filed yesterday (May 18) its demand letter to the Commission on Elections asking the poll body to open the Automated Election System (AES) for a systems audit after the discovery of irregularities in the tabulation of results of the May 9 elections.

    They contend that only a systems audit will show if the election results were not affected by the change in the script done to the server.

    A systems audit will put to rest the question whether or not the changing of the ‘?’ to ‘ñ’ that resulted in a major distortion of the real results.

    Among other things, the Marcos team noted the “highly irregular” number of undervotes in the vice-presidential race.

    An “undervote” means that the voter did not select any candidate for a position.

    “Overall, there were more than 3.3 million undervotes in the 2016 vice-presidential derby and, in a highly contested race, we consider the same as highly suspicious,” the team said.

    Forensic investigation
    At a media forum held at the Manila Hotel on Tuesday, two university professors declared that based on their analysis, LP vice-presidential candidate Leni Robredo was the beneficiary of “manipulated, anomalous and abnormal data” that appeared shortly after a new script was uploaded to the Comelec transparency server on May 9.

    Professors Antonio Contreras, of De La Salle University, and Rogelio Quevedo (University of the Philippines) urged the Comelec to conduct an independent “forensic investigation” into the entire automated election system after a Smartmatic technician uploaded the script that altered the system’s hash code without authorization.

    Contreras and Quevedo stressed that anomalies in the system occurred after the hash code was changed.

    Contreras said a straight-line increase in a candidate’s vote count was not normal.

    Quevedo, a law professor and IT expert, said the introduction of the script triggered a change in the system that altered the results.

    “I can categorically state that it is not accurate [to say]that a mere change in the hash codes will not result in cheating,” Quevedo said.

    Quevedo contended that If Comelec really wants to project itself as the body in charge of the election, that it is transparent and not biased, then it should immediately order the forensic investigation of the transmission and the election results.

    A forensic investigation would examine the system’s historical data and determine what changes were made to the system, he said.

    Conspiracy to subvert election process
    The available facts point to a real conspiracy to subvert the election process by manipulating the tabulation of the votes.

    I think Comelec, Smartmatic, PPCRV and the Liberal Party and Aquino administration were all involved in the conspiracy.

    Comelec facilitated the cheating.

    Smartmatic designed and executed the computer fraud.

    PPCRV circulated the manipulated results via the unofficial count, as an accredited Comelec watchdog with access to media. The location of the Comelec transparency server at PPCRV headquarters points to a front seat in the plot.

    The LP financed the conspiracy.

    It would be a mercy if Smartmatic’s evil scheme affected only the transparency server. If there was also a secret/intermediary server, the cheating would be more widespread and could infect the official canvass of the votes.

    The priority now is to bring out the real results of the elections, with the VP race just one among the contests.



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    1. Well said Mr. Makabenta. Also, for an ordinary Pinoys (this doesn’t need a rocket scientist) Why do they have to change something within a live running system–for what purpose. Clearly, they should tell exactly in “what purpose” change was made–they said as published earlier (don’t remembered the name of newspaper) is just “cosmetic change”–again for what purpose?? Gannon na lang ba ka estupido ang Pilipino.

    2. Your friend is very much correct in saying,” Firstly, you never make a change to a live running system, and an untested change at that.” Alam ng mga IT professionals na change may only be done prior to authorization by Top Management. Ang Smartmatic, walang Top Management na sinusunod.

    3. Thunderbutt on

      Dapat ibalik ang dating pangalan ng Airport para di na ma alala ang mga katiwalian sa putang nang NAIA na laglag bala. Alisin ang 500 pesos oligarch money sa sirkulasyon

    4. Rene Francisco on

      Well, IT experts do your job as called for by the law. You named all the organizations assigned by COMELEC to do the counting of the votes and now you are naming them as cheaters. You will get more from the person who is complaining so to get the promise, work faster and enjoy.

    5. So those hang by death is so appropriate to those culprits aside from those already been bad elements in the gov’t and other institutions

    6. Solid North on

      If an investigation is to be conducted, it MUST be done now not LATER as the culprits of these bogus election results (COMELEC, SMARTMATIC, PPCRV the YELLOWTARDS LIBERAL PARTY) will erase all the damning data on the just-staged election scam.

      No less than the presumptive President-elect Rody Duterte should order the top to bottom investigation in order to restore the credibilty of our electoral processes. If this is not done immediately, the country shall in no time will fall into partisan violence which will degenerate to a destructive civil war….

      • Right! July 1, 2016, the Duterte’s adm shall investigate ASAP. WHOEVER found guilty shall be punish and put to jail!

        Calling the good Mayor!

        GO bless you an your government!

    7. They must file a complaint for the COMELEC, SMARMATIC and PPRCV for Election Sabotage. Make Marlon Garcia tell the mastermind or who instruct him to change the hash code. I’m very sure the mastermind or the one instructed Marlon to change the hash code is most powerful person and he must be reprimand in order this will never repeat again.

      • Thunderbutt on

        Ka Ernie says
        Everybody knows who is he. Hello garci boys still in comelec

    8. The way I see, its not only the counting for the VP candidates was manipulated. Senators like Guingona & Osmena were dumped because LP see them as non aligned senators

    9. Manual counting is the best solution, if the smartmatic, comelect and PPCRV are not willing to cooperate. As i said before, tampering and making alterations is a form of Cheating at the computer programs which is on the mode of transmission. We fillipinos will not now agree , that our precious votes were stolen again by the yellowish administration…. Naloko na nila tayo nuong 2010 and 2013, ngayon heto na nmn, kakutsaba ang PPCRV OR NAMFREL..ng comelec….

      • Thunderbutt on

        why comelec always dissagree for the truth. Go Federalism to get rid of appointed comelec commissioner.

    10. emmanuel mallari jr on

      it is unfortunate that the official tabulation for vice presidency will not happen until May 24 and by that time, the comelec’s server and its AES could have been cleaned already. meaning, even if forensic audit investigation is to be made… wala na sila makikitang traces.

    11. Let us not allow the conspirators to get away with what they did. We Filipinos, we are more inteligent well learned than those third world countries smartmatic victimised. Jail those involved including AQUINO the pervertor. Let’s rally to the streets if need be. Now we need people power. If we don’t take action this time we will always be a sorry sight to the world.

    12. Robredo has been plugging – she’s afraid that canvassed election returns will be rigged. Who is in-charge if the BOC in congress? Di ba LP? Drilon? Parang nagbingi-bingian at nagbulag-bulagan. Dapat Sir Yen – RECOUNT the votes inside the PCOS/VCM machines para malaman the integrity of the election of who decides – the voters? Or the one who counts the votes?

    13. jessie corrales on

      Comelec and Smartmatic say that only the “?” characters were changed to “ñ” but how do we know if something else was changed? we won’t know that. What they want is for the public to believe only what they say. I think it doesn’t work that way.

    14. These irregularities also calls for a systems audit of the AES covering the senatorial votes , a Trojan horse must have also been embedded in favor of the LP candidates ……

      • Thunderbutt on

        taka nga ako ,si Drilon di ko nakita sa campaign pero number one
        Tama ang hinala ko nang sinasabi ni Mar Roxas na wala yang survey na yan,mag antay na lang tayo after election.nagparamdam na si Mar na may dayaan sa matipid na paraan..Sana sa araw ng unang upo ni DU30 ay pabuksan ulit ang bilang ng boto para malaman ang tutoo. Sa ngayon ay nasa power pa rin ang hari ng sinungaling kaya ma do doktor lang ang mga ebidensya. Maraming salamat kay Mar Roxas at ipinaramdam mo na may dayaan sa 2016

    15. Nilo del Mundo on

      Mr. Brillantes knows a lot. He is old and he could be thinking of revealing finally what happened under his watch. How was cheating done. Before he passes away, he could change the course of history of the Philippines. Let us pray ofr Brillantes

      • Thunderbutt on

        Nilo del Mundo says:
        Alam din ni tatang brillantes kung paano naging number one si poe noong 2013 as senator at kung bakit natalo si Hontiveros

    16. Leodegardo Pruna on

      The latest interviews with Leni are quite revealing. The looks of Leni is much different from earlier interviews she made. She is not as confident and convincing as before. The main reasons for the change could be the realization that she is being used and played with like a pawn by manipulators of the election- P-Noy as major actor. Realizing further that her quest of knowing the truth about her husband’s death is slowly fading. She knows in her heart that she lost the election but the people toying with her are just too afraid of what will happen to them after what they did to CGMA. The people has the right to know what really resulted after the “COSMETIC” surgery on the system perpetrated by PPCRV, Smartmatic, Comelec, LP masterminded by P-Noy and company in the last election. God save the Philippines.

    17. Chris Espiritu on

      So there, as clear as day, the conspiracy to deny Sen. Bongbong Marcos of his right to claim a vice-presidential seat is no figment of the imagination. No wonder The Yellows are already sending congratulatory message for their puppet’s “victory” as well as sending feelers to the real winner to concede. Political power is not just intoxicating but addictive as well, the LP will move heaven and earth to ensure that they still have a say in running or ruining the government. They should heed the people’s clamor and end their premature celebration since time and again their clueless president often refer to the masses as his “boss”.

      • Thunderbutt on

        inip na ako na sana ay matapos na ang june 2016. Naiinip na rin ang mga anti du30 sa bashing

    18. Smartmatic have been the culprit ever since, why does Comelec keeps on hiring them to conduct elections is one big anomaly right here. This time they were caught with their dirty fingers in the cookie jar and it seems they will get away with it again as always. What’s happening to country?

    19. The syndicate has only one specific target. Not to let another Marcos back to political power. It seems the syndicate is extremely scared of their own shadows.

    20. So election results manipulation appeared to be highly probable and easily done, and the relevant events strongly point to that.

      With the apparent collusion of Comelec, Smartmatic was given a totally free hand to manipulate the numbers. The inside job, with the access freely given by Comelec, seemed to be so much easier to do than the Bangladesh account hack.

      Then LP apparently succeeded in subverting the election process, based on the VP and senatorial election published “results”.

      Is this not a crime to the Filipino people? If it is reasonable to consider hanging an ordinary criminal, (who’s act may have been motivated by extreme poverty), why not catch the above criminals (who are hudas and bantay salakay) and make them answerable for their deeds? Maybe Mr. Duterte can address this.

    21. The syndicate has only one specific target. Not to let another Marcos back to political power. The syndicate is deadly scared of their own shadows.

    22. lagi ng nagsasabi ang isang paalis na lider na hindi nya papayagan ang mga Marcos na makabalik pa sa pwesto.. Anu ba a naman ang taong ito? dalawa na silang naging pangulo pero wala naman silang nagawa.. akala m o ang gagaling nyo pati chief justice, ombudsman winalanghiya m. nakakatulog ka b ng mahimbing? tumigil na nga kayo.. aantayin m na humimnas ka ng malamig na bakal ng rehas sa mga kapalpalkan m..

      • Thunderbutt on

        hanggang ngayon di pa malaman ang mastermind sa pagligpit kay ninoy
        pero laging binabanggit sa sona niya ang mga patay na para depensahan siya sa kagaguhan..Buti pa yung account ni DU30, madaling natuklasan pero di magawang malaman kung sino sa couangco ang nagpaligpit sa traidor

    23. Thank you, Mr Yen Makabenta, for succinctly articulating here what many of us in the thinking (but not necessarily, politically-inclined) sector are suspecting – a massive data breach of election results. Truth to tell, we have become a nation divided over this issue, and the sooner this matter is resolved, the better for our country. Mabuhay po kayo!

    24. Cruel-World on

      We, Filipinos were to be blamed. After all, we closed our eyes and tolerated the hooligans long before, namely the COMELEC, the middlemen in selling the adulterated “would be votes”, Smartmatic, PPCRV and the Liberal Party and Aquino administration were all involved in the conspiracy. Now, they have a fortified fortress with their print & broadcast Media in full swing to divert and quash all election protests.

      Unity is sole game changer to crash them all.

    25. fidel S. Pescador on

      God never sleeps nor slumber…culprits should be prosecuted and jailed if they found guilty beyond reasonable….God blessed and save Philippines…

    26. Been the same situation the past 6 years, no one held accountable for the scandals since every agency has been corrupted.
      Aquino, His cabinet sect’s, The Ombudsman, the Dept of Justice, Supreme Court, Comelec, COA, AMLC, the senate, the house of reps etc etc. All have to be taken down at the same time to prevent them from shielding the others.
      Seen it over and over the past 6 years. Nothing new there.

    27. I am not sure that the LP financed the conspiracy. It could be the people of the Philippines who were the actual financiers as the LP, represented by Aquino and Abad have shown in the past how liberal were they with the people’s money.

    28. iyon mga expert kuno, puede naman i verify sa vcm dahil may printed election return bawat precinct. i add mo lang lahat ito malalaman mo na ang resulta o bilang ng boto.
      kahit na mabago ang server pero may verification sa printed election result at ito ay di puedeng mabago. kaya imposible mandaya,

      • Parang internet cafe lang yan, may main control na pc at printer. Pwedeng nyang manipulahin ang count kahit saang lugar sa pilipinas at magprint doon ng bagong result. Pagdating ng COC sa batasan papalitan na yung loob ng ballot box ng kanilang printed result.

    29. Since the issue involved here pertains to the National Security and the integrity of the Philippine democracy, it is but right and just that we apply the kind of justice that was used in Davao city when Duterte was the Mayor. Let us start purging corruption with the Commission on Elections. Go for it President Duterte. Make them example to all government officials and foreigner who deals with our government agencies, what happens when the commit corruption in our beloved Philippines. God Bless you President Duterte.

    30. these venzualens are paid to do it, they need to be under investigation by the CIA, if not the CIA already knows about this company, computer experts in the u.s. CIA already can read, look and just observe and tell you how many breeches in our election process…it is certain that Marcos Jr. has been cheated….in reality he would have won by at least 1Million votes if not 900,000 a land slide even showing how his overseas votes came in common sense , pple voted for Manong Digong today new PHILIPPINE STRONG MAN IRON FIST and the Son of the Old PHILIPPINE STRONG MAN Ferdinand E. Marcos, Marcos Jr. ….Common Sense ppl !