Comelec told: Beware of automated cheating

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SENATOR Aquilino Pimentel 3rd on Friday warned the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of automated cheating if it will not heed the call of a coalition calling for credible 2016 elections.

Pimentel particularly cited review of the source code, one of the security features required by Republic Act 939 or the Automated Election Law.

“I talked to Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista and asked him to provide my office of their plans on how to prevent cheating, including the technical ones like the source code review,” said the chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation.

He was a guest at the Bantay Boto forum arranged by political science students of De La Salle University on Taft Avenue, Manila.


Bautista, also a guest at the forum, said he is not against the review of the source code.

“In fact, the review has been going on right here at De La Salle,” he added.

Begun one month ago, the review is attended by several concerned individuals and groups.

In the 2010 and 2013 elections, source code reviews were held one month and one week before the polls, respectively.

Pimentel, a victim of electoral fraud in the 2007 polls, reminded Bautista to send him the Comelec position on how to prevent cheating through use of PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machines that will help manipulate results to favor a particular candidate or group of candidates.

“We [have]sent to him our study and proposals. I will ask again our staff when [the materials were]sent,” Bautista said.

Also present at the forum were Smartmatic officials Karen Jimeno and Robert Dobler, vice president for Asia Pacific, who refused to entertain questions from The Manila Times.

Smartmatic won the contract for automation of the 2010 and 2013 elections, deploying the PCOS machines to carry out the process.

Pimentel said the 2016 election fraud will be effected through tampering with the PCOS machines and vote-buying.

“We have to watch these venues of poll fraud. The Comelec must convince that the PCOS machines are not programmed to favor any group or individual. Make the machine operation transparent,” he added.

“As to vote-buying, we have to convince the candidates not to resort to it. Young voters must be at the frontline in securing that there is no vote-buying. You can start it with yourselves. Refuse selling your votes and report to authorities those who will and are doing it” Pimentel said.

Meanwhile, the Comelec chief said he is seriously considering holding voting in select malls.

But Pimentel said he is against allowing precincts to be put up in malls, adding that it is against the law.

“If they insist, I will question it before a court,” the senator added.

Bautista said the holding polls inside malls is not new.

“We used it in the 2013 mid-term polls for senior citizens and people with disabilities (PWDs). We allowed it during the 2013 barangay [village]elections” he added.

The Reform Philippines Coalition (RPC), a broad alliance of Catholic prelates, lawyers and former and active officials of the military, police and government agencies, is urging the poll body to restore the source code as well as the ballot verification or ultra violet detectors, the voter verified paper audit trail and the digital signature that were removed or diluted during the 2010 and 2013 elections.

The RPC believed that the absence of the four features will make the 2016 poll exercise useless and even worse than the past two elections.

Glenn Chong, spokesman for RPC, said cheating in the 2010 polls was traced to pre-loaded CF (compact flash) cards that benefited local and national bets.

Manipulation of the 2013 elections, he added, was evident in the “60-30-10” scheme where 60 percent of the votes were distributed to candidates of the administration Liberal Party, 30 percent to the opposition United Nationalist Alliance and 10 percent to independent candidates.

Bautista evaded questions of reporters regarding how the poll body will prevent vote- buying.

He instead discussed social media, which he claimed will be a game changer that will ensure election transparency.

The millennials, 18 to 34 years old, make up 37 percent or 20 million of the 54 registered voters.

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6 Comments

  1. If i am reading this correctly Comelec is going to do the same thing they did in the 2010 and 2013 elections, use the same system with the same results.

  2. Now do you see why Roxas, Aquino and all those LP minions do not care how insensitive, incompetent and corrupt they are? They are psyched to win even if the whole nation wants to burn them at the stake.

  3. Belated Amen to the “late” Sen Koko ! There were uncountable hearings of the JCOC-AES he presided upon and nothing memorable/significant was resolved in those hearings despite tons and tons of issues raised (and tens of liters of tears shed) by the electoral reforms advocates in those hearings. Now he warns about PCOS cheating in 2016 less than 6 months before election day eh lumang-lumang tugtugin na ito (nung 2009 pa !). Too late to do anything anymore except maybe dump the PCOS and go fully manual (which can be mounted in just 3 months before election day).

  4. Dominador D. Canastra on

    Thanks for Sen. Pimentel’s concern for the fraudulent control of Smartmatic over our elections!!!

  5. As I have said before, the cheating involves microchip and the CF Cards, its been long manufactured and embeded in it was the name of MAR ROXAS who is pre destined to win and not to lose and the remote center for feeding/transmission of the pre result. The feeding/transmission can be done in private offices located inside the malls. What the COMELEC is doing now is to review the source code and as expected it will not be tampered but the real one is during A WEEK of the pre delivery of the CF Cards which was long been manufactured.
    NOW, Who is the manufacturer of the microchip and the CF Card which the world’s have been using it is in the smart phones, computers and who is the filipino mistizo owner of that company and to whom he was inclined to support. The factory can be located in a country in South America and in Northeastern Europe. QUESTION? What they are protecting Its their INTEREST.
    That is why conditioning of the the people’s mind is being done by the survey firm to favor the annointed one. I AM ONLY SUSPECTING SINCE ALL INDICATION ARE THERE.