Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, campaign adviser of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has questioned the integrity of the May 2016 elections as he called on the government to cure the “infirmities” of the Automated Election System (AES).
In a speech at the House of Representatives on Monday, dela Cruz said the election system is vulnerable to manipulation.
“While I strongly disagree with the National Board of Canvassers count, I accept it, we accept it. I offer our congratulations and Godspeed,” he added.
Marcos’ adviser called for a united effort to correct the “infirmities” of the AES.
He noted that even former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Christian Monsod admitted that the issues raised by various parties have damaged the integrity of the AES.
“Clearly the system as we know it and as implemented in the past three automated elections by the Comelec and its technology partner, a company now known as “Smart magic” has proven to be vulnerable to external interference. It is vulnerable to rigging and manipulations,” dela Cruz said.
He added that they will prove this accusation at the proper time and forum.
The lawmaker said the Comelec should answer some questions, including what it has done about reports on alleged vote buying.
“Did the Comelec comply with the testing and sealing rules prior to issuing the authority for the system to be operated? I was told there were hosts of issues and concerns that remained unanswered,” he added.
Dela Cruz cited reports that 30 Consolidation and Canvassing System servers were brought to a Smartmatic warehouse in Santa Rosa in Laguna province but no report was given to the public as to what was done with them.
“Just this morning, three whistle blowers publicly stated that there was a rogue canvassing center in Quezon which, ostensibly intercepted the results and consolidated the same and spewed these out with controversial results. Again this must be looked into,” he said.
In addition, dela Cruz noted a change in the script of the transparency server that Smartmatic technician Marlon Garcia made without proper authorization from the Comelec en banc.
While the poll body claimed it only resulted in “cosmetic” changes, Marcos’ adviser said many IT experts do not buy this.
He added that Garcia was accused of doing similar unauthorized actions in the 2008, 2010 and 2013 polls.
Dela Cruz insisted that the Comelec should allow a system audit.
The unusually high number of undervotes, which reached around 3.5 million, is another factor that raised questions on the results of the elections.
Given the slim margin between the top two vice presidential contenders of just over 260,000 votes, dela Cruz said, such an audit gains more significance “to ensure that no iota of doubt can be handed over to the mandate given to the two top officials of the land.”
“They may not get the answers now but we will not stand still. We will start to sift the truth and provide the answers to the myriad questions, which had come and continue to come,” he added.