• Smartmatic executives should not leave PH – Guanzon

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    COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon wants officials and employees of technology provider Smartmatic Corp. barred from leaving the country pending investigation of the “unauthorized” alteration of the script or hash code of the poll body’s transparency server at the command center of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

    The transparency server shows the quick count of the results of the national and local elections.

    Guanzon on Monday formally asked the commission en banc to immediately act on her request considering the urgency of the matter.

    “In view of the investigation that will be conducted by the commission with respect to the issue on the change or alteration of the script or hash code of the Comelec transparency server, I urge the en banc, specifically through Commissioner Robert S. Lim, to write and direct Smartmatic Philippines to issue a memorandum and/or an order prohibiting their officers and employees from leaving the country until the investigation is terminated and concluded,” she said in a letter to the Comelec en banc.

    “Considering further the public interest involved and the urgency of the matter, I encourage the en banc to act on the issue with haste and dispatch,” the commissioner added.

    Guanzon had specifically mentioned Smartmatic project manager Marlon Garcia, who was responsible for the illegal introduction of the new script to the transparency server on the night of May 9, at a time when the election results had started coming in.

    Garcia admitted having tweaked the server, but said that it was just a minor “cosmetic” change to correct a discrepancy discovered about the presence of certain question marks (“?”) in some candidate’s names where the letter “ñ” should have appeared.

    Garcia, however, only made the admission days later after it was exposed by the camp of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., frontrunner in the race for Vice President.

    According to Marcos, the new script started the “rather distinctive pattern” of vote padding and vote shaving that wiped out his almost one million lead over Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo of the administration Liberal Party.

    Guanzon said Smartmatic breached protocol and should be held accountable for its unauthorized act.

    The commissioner explained that the technology provider has no authority to tinker with the server and other election-related systems without prior authority, which is in the form of a formal resolution from the Comelec en banc.

    “Smartmatic should have informed the commission en banc what is the problem, what are the consequences and then give us the recommendation on how to fix it. They should have not touched the program without our prior knowledge and our official consent,” she pointed out.

    What Smartmatic did, Guanzon said, has cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the May 9 elections.

    “There may have been no damage in terms of alteration of the results. But there is certainly some effect because now the people are anxious and asking questions,” she added.

    PPCRV Chairman Henrietta de Villa agreed with the observation of Guanzon, saying it is
    hard to erase doubt in the mind of the people as a result of the incident.

    Guanzon disclosed that Garcia had also tried to alter the Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS) of the Comelec at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) after making the “cosmetic” change but he was stopped by one of the commissioners.

    The latest brouhaha prompted Senior Commissioner Christian Robert Lim to issue a memorandum on Friday that barred Smartmatic from accessing the CCS facility at the PICC, where canvassing of votes for senators and party-list groups is being conducted.

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    6 Comments

    1. the best thing to do to cast out doubt from the minds of the people is to re-count the ballots.

    2. Sonny Alinio on

      Just wanted to share and have a humble observation (I suspect many others may have already pointed out) validated. As of today, May 17, 2016, 12:56:04 PM, based on partial unofficial election results via the COMELEC – GMA7 Mirror Server posted in http://ph.rappler.com/elections/2016/results, a total of 41,373,409 and 39,922,493 votes cast for President and VP race respectively – a net difference of 1,450,916 more votes cast for the President. Simplistically, it could be 100% attributable to 1,450,916 voters absolutely not choosing a VP candidate but that’s very far-fetched and highly unlikely. What other plausible reason(s), if any, could explain this phenomenon and might even help explain the currently contested VP votes count?

    3. commish guanzon is the only one in the male dominated comulec that has the balls to go after smartmatic. she knows change is coming. bright woman.

    4. Juan T. Delacruz on

      Rowena Guanzon is in a very stressful situation right now and it seems like she is under duress. It is already admitted that Smartmatic technician “added” a script program to rectify the existing problem and the whole world knows already. I wonder what she is trying to accomplish why she is raising hell. By the way, Guanzon is not the Court and she cannot stop any citizen from any country without a court order. I thought the she is a lawyer, because she should have known better.

      Only very few people (non-computer programmers) are convinced that this script program can only do so much, and the existing program can execute this script program. Examples of script program is like adding “HELLO” or “WELCOME” to the computer screen before going to the menu. Script program is NOT executed by the CPU of the computer, and therefore, it is not going through the compiler to be compiled. A compiler is a special program that processes statements written in a particular programming language and turns them into machine language, because computers can only read 1’s and 0′ (ones and zeros). Therefore, a program that tells a computer to “add vote for particular candidate” or “remove vote for a particular candidate” must already programmed and reside in computer’s memory and executed by the CPU to be compiled to get results.

      It would been a lot easier to explain some discrepancies like this small issue, if only people have the basic understanding how a computer (hardware) execute a certain program (software). The issue that need to be resolved:

      * The possibility of cheating, such as dag-dag and bawas of votes when the script program was introduced.
      *Marcos used the wrong word when he said ” over million votes were “WIPED OUT”. The fact of the matter is he was “OVERTAKEN” , and there were no wiped out votes in transparency server.