The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to explain the apparent upsurge and abrupt fall of votes and the discrepancy of votes for the president and Vice President in the petition to prosecute Smartmatic officials who tampered with the Automated Election System (AES).
During the deliberations of the SC en banc, the High Court ordered the Comelec to file its comment on the petition filed by Eduardo Bringas, Bishop Reuben Abante and Moses Rivera.
Also named respondent to the case was GMA Channel 7 in view of its blow-by-blow account of the counting of votes.
The petition was filed by the group for fear of fraud, which might have occurred during the May 9, 2016 polls.
In the vice presidential race, it was even seen on national television that Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led in the evening of May 9, in the counting of votes against Camarines Rep. Leni Robredo. But by the morning of May 10, Robredo’s votes suddenly surged by as much as 200,000 votes.
In their petition, Bringas, Abante and Rivera asked the SC to mandate the Comelec “to explain the apparent erratic upsurge and abrupt fall in the discrepancy between the votes for the President and Vice President from the May 9, 2016 7:25 p.m.; 7:45 p.m.; 8:05 p.m.; and 8:25 p.m.; specifically, where the votes came from and where they were later assigned.”
The petitioners also pleaded to require GMA 7 to provide all the published updates of the election results and the raw data that were received from the transparency or mirror server, which shall serve as control date.
After the reported tampering of the machines inside the Comelec, the petitioners want Smartmatic to be directly held responsible and cause the poll body to conduct an investigation and prosecute the conspirators in the crime.
The petitioners also prayed that the High Court will order the Comelec to allow and the public to have access to the source codes and hash codes.
They also asked that Chairman Andres Bautista and the commissioners who already made conclusions to the case recuse themselves from the investigation after having manifested their bias in the case, once Comelec starts with the probe.
It was also pleaded “to cause an independent and thorough investigation of the two reported incidents, directing the members and chair of the respondent Commission who already made conclusions regarding the said incidents to inhibit themselves.”