THE source code for the automated election systems (AES) adopted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the 2010 presidential and 2013 mid-term elections will be temporarily removed from the main vault of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) where it is currently stored for safekeeping.
Comelec Executive Director Jose Tolentino Jr. on Thursday said the safe containing the “source code” will be transferred to another secured area on Friday to give way to the scheduled installation of partitions in the main vault of the BSP main office in Ermita, Manila, to rationalize space utilization.
According to Tolentino, notices have been sent to the parties concerned, including the Liberal Party, Nacionalista Party, National Movement for Free Elections, Joint Congressional Oversight Committee, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, Comelec Advisory Council and Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.
He said the poll body’s sole participation in this activity is to “open the locks of Compartment No. C-06 to enable the BSP personnel to temporarily move the Mosler Safe to another secured area to give way to the installation of the partitions in said compartment.”
Tolentino added that the move would not compromise the safety of the source code, which will remain inside the Mosler Safe that has a separate safety lock combination.
“The Mosler Safe will not be opened, and it shall remain secured since it is still inside the main vault, directly within the view of the vault’s CCTV [close circuit television]cameras,” he said.
After the partitions in the main vault are installed, according to Tolentino, the Mosler Safe containing the source code will be returned to a re-sized compartment, which shall thereafter be locked.
Under Republic Act 9369, the source code is described as the “human readable instructions that define what the computer equipment will do” to encourage transparency, credibility, fairness and accuracy of elections.
RA 9369 is the law authorizing the Comelec to use an automated election system that started with the May 11, 1998 national elections.