• Comelec to evaluate case vs Smartmatic

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    The complaint filed by the camp of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Smartmatic in connection with an unauthorized script change is deemed submitted for evaluation after the period given for both parties to file their pleadings lapsed.

    Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, political adviser of Marcos, said the Commission on
    Elections (Comelec) gave him until July 11, 2016 to file his reply to the counter-affidavits filed by Marlon Garcia, head of Smartmatic’s Technical Support Team, Elie Moreno, Project Director and Neil Baniqued, member of the Technical Support, and Comelec IT personnel Rouie Peñalba.

    He said the respondents were also given the same period to file their rejoinder. Under the Rules of Procedure, the Comelec’s Legal Department has five days to evaluate the complaint and submit a recommendation to the Comelec En Banc for review and approval.

    In his complaint, dela Cruz accused the respondents of violating Section 35(b) and (c) of the Automated Election Law (R.A. 8436) for interfering with or altering computer data, program and system software without authority.

    The respondents had admitted changing the script of the Transparency Server on the night of the elections while transmission was ongoing.

    Dela Cruz said Peñalba had admitted that he did not give Smartmatic personnel permission to introduce changes in the script.

    The respondents were also charged with a separate offense at the Manila Prosecutors’ Office for violation of the Cybercrime Law over the script change. The complaint is still under evaluation.

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