Smartmatic probe starts

19

Initial findings known this week

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has launched an investigation into the “unauthorized” change of the script of its transparency server by technology provider Smarmatic Corp. that some groups said tainted the integrity of the May 9 elections.

Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on Monday said a committee headed by Comelec Legal Department chief Norie Casingal will look into the incident.

The committee will focus on the administrative liability of Smartmatic project manager Marlon Garcia, who had admitted altering the script without the knowledge and permission of the commission en banc, he said.


“The committee may provide the commission with its preliminary findings within the week,” Bautista said.

The investigation may last for two weeks.

The illegal alteration of the transparency server script, which also automatically changed its hash code, could have gone unnoticed.

Marcos Jr. PHOTO BY RENE DILAN

Marcos Jr. PHOTO BY RENE DILAN

However, the camp of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. called public attention to the sudden reversal of his lead over closest rival, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, during the early hours of May 10, just after the day of the elections.

A lawyer for Marcos, Jose Amor Amorado, said they will file more cases against Smartmatic and the Comelec IT representative in the transparency server for opening the system without the required authority from the Comelec en banc.

Amorado said they have enough evidence to pin down the Smartmatic executives and Comelec IT representative based on public documents and the pronouncement by no less than the Comelec that their interference in the system had no authorization. (See related story ‘Marcos to file more raps.’)

 Robredo

Robredo

Smartmatic admitted that it had no written authority from the Comelec when it altered the script, which Garcia said was only a cosmetic change from the character ‘?’ to ‘ñ’ which appeared on some of the candidates’ names.

It maintained that the change was “innocuous” and that it did not affect the election results.

The Marcos camp has asked the Comelec to allow its own team of IT experts and programmers to conduct an audit of the transparency and central servers of the poll body.

It also filed a criminal case against Garcia, Smartmatic general manager Elie Moreno and Comelec official Neli Banigued and Rouie Peñalba.

The Marcos camp claimed that by changing the script, Smartmatic effectively removed the only security feature of the data by causing the hash code to change.

The Robredo camp welcomed the audit of poll servers but said that it should be done after the proclamation of the winning vice presidential candidate.

The Senate and House of Representatives will convene as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) today, Tuesday, to count the votes for candidates for President and Vice President.

Robredo’s camp said Marcos’ request for a system audit shows that he has no proof of errors or irregularities.

“Mr. Marcos is practically asking the Comelec to develop his case,” Robredo’s chief legal counsel, Romulo Macalintal, said in a news briefing on Monday afternoon.
He added that Marcos is fishing for evidence.

“But our legal team is prepared to meet all these arguments,” Macalintal said.

“If he wants to question any certificate of canvass [COC], if he wants to allege errors in transmission, all he has to do is present his own certificate of canvass…That is the challenge that we would like to hurl to Mr. Marcos,” he added.

“Until and unless he presents an authentic copy of a certificate of canvass or any copy of the election returns which does not tally with the certificates of canvass to be canvassed by the Board of Canvassers, the Board of Canvassers – the Senate and the House [of Representatives – has no recourse but to admit and include all the COC in their possession,” Macalintal said.

WITH REINA TOLENTINO

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19 Comments

  1. ahahaha! COMELEC, which is part of the problem, is doing the investigating?!

    1. How the hell did Smartmatic techs open the source code without COMELEC giving them their own password?
    2. How can #1 be possible without COMELEC in on it? LoL….

  2. fidel S. Pescador on

    it’s unbelievable you investigate yourself and the outcome of course is something very fishy…meaning are they going to disclosed their wrongdoings to the public? of course not …they will cover up everything so that the outcome of their investigation shall favor to them…but I believed that ” GOD NEVER SLEEPS NOR SLUMBER” the truth will eventually pops up…God bless Philippines…

  3. franz kiefer on

    im just wondering why the camp of robredo is so hurry to be proclaim if they believe they have won and nothing has been change why worry?

  4. Its either COMELEC is hiding something and or not really sure that the script did not change the results. Else they should have just allowed a third party or BBM to audit all they want.

  5. Juan T. Delacruz on

    Senator Marcos’ accusations do not have basis and cannot stand in the court of law. He is blaming the AES machines (hardware and software) which is owned by Smartmatic Corporation, COMELEC officials, and the people that counted the votes, are the reasons why he lost the election. All his wishes, should be granted after the official proclamation of winners by the Congress.

    Marcos and his team of expert will never find any evidence, in software nor in hardware, that votes were manipulated. The COMELEC and SMARTMATIC should not let anybody touch or make changes in the machines while the Marcos’ team doing the investigation. If the team of experts employed by Marcos cannot find anything, which is more likely, here is my advice to Smartmatic, its officials, COMELEC, and the people counting votes for dragging you all into this mess–

    File a lawsuit on Marcos and ask Compensatory Damages, Libel Damages, Loss of Wages, Pain and Suffering incurred because the false accusations, Lawyers fee, (all of the group can hire top lawyers), and any type of damages, to include your ruined reputations can be translated into monetary amount. Make him pay and I am sure he can afford it, and to him, it is only a pocket change and remnants of the of the money that was once owned by the Filipino people, withdrawn from BSP.

    Ignorant and lowly educated people like myself, are confident that the team of lawyers and IT experts hired by Senator Marcos will never find anything in the machine nor in the programs used by the AES, that manipulated votes.

  6. The question is – how come the password was catered to someone when the sole keeper of it is the Comelec chairman? He had a lot to explain.

  7. Diego Silang on

    There is a Fishy agenda “Why Smartmatic-has to change something or touch anything in the Server!A one Key eg F1 or F keys Or any key He did Touch had changed automatically or divert the results”It’s not just a mere change” They programmes any key”and tells us a mere changes”come on we are not borned when computers are not yet known in our eyes” Better Put in Confinement Garcia or the Programmers who had entered the Server room that time they made changes on the server”

  8. “Mr. Marcos is practically asking the Comelec to develop his case…”
    __________________

    Old thinking from an old lawyer. Any irregularity could only be found in the program which is installed IN THE COMPUTER SYSTEM. So, any direct evidence could only be found INSIDE THE SYSTEM. If one is denied access of the system, there could not be any evidence indeed.

    Leni Robredo should be careful about appearing too desirous what with all the clouds of doubt hanging over her head on her supposed victory, especially with a margin so slim.

    • Hector David on

      She is no longer a reluctant candidate.. she is a desirous and pushy candidate… the yellow army trumps again … watch your back Mayor

  9. Just about every damn elections we have smartmatic always figures in some highly questionable results and yet here they are lording it over again and again. What’s up?

  10. Kahit pa anong sabihin ang Election 2016 ay mayroon ng kalakip ng pagdududa sa mga naging resulta dahil sa ginawa ni Marlon Garcia ng Smartmatic.

    Dapat ay may independent party na magimbestiga din tungkol sa Smartmatic kasi ang kalahati ng password ay ibinigay ng IT technician ng COMELEC kay Marlon Garcia para ma-access niya ang Transparency Server ng PPCRV.

  11. An impartial investigation should undertken. A suspect investigating itself can not claim to be fair and impartial, he is just going to cover his ***.

    Comelec can not be impartial as certain events, in-actions, shady acts, denials and delays in its handling of serious issues, points to its attempt to coverup and protect its partners (Smartmatic and LP)

    Mr Duterte, who appears to be hard working and becoming the lowly-filipinos’-president should look into this. So far he has been fair, truly reconciliatory and unifying in the interest of nation building. He must be aware that cleaning government institutions including the Comelec is a major part of rebuilding our country, aside from improving government workers competence and efficiency, minimising corruption, neutralizing the stranglehold of the business-cartels, shady chinese undertakings, etc.

  12. Leni Robredo is displaying the classic signs of some-one caught out and hiding behind weak legal arguments and illogical statements, plus a push to avoid any investigation and a rush for proclamation.

    Methinks the black widow is showing her true colors, and her halo of honesty has slipped and is tightening around her neck. She would be Aquino’s trojan horse and Duterte’s back stabber.

    Democracy demands transparency, and comelec & smartmatic have been anything but. This pattern of deceit and subterfuge needs to be fully exposed now, and ended, or 2019 will be a similar story.

    And Duterte should consider that if nothing changes then it will be Smartmatic who will be ‘controlling’ the results of any Federalism/constitution plebisite.

  13. BBM is doing everything in his disposal by all means if possible let his IT team of experts touch and manipulates the program and election machines to their advantage. The Marcoses family never play equally fair game but always to their advantage. Cheating and rigging of votes are their normal game. Nobody wins against Marcoses, for them there is no space and chances for the opponent to win. History tell all the tricks of this family.

    • We’re just for the sake of transparency, we can accept defeat in a fair and honest election. In the presences of different parties IT expert’s, are you sure that BBM group could manipulate the data? I don’t think so, baka ayaw niyo lang mabunyag ang kalokohan kung meron man.

    • Fred Gasmen on

      There you again, harking back to the martial law years. That is not the issue here. The issue is about whether the alterations done by Mr. Garcia of Smartmatic caused an unwanted and illegal change in the normal and correct flow of the unofficial vote count. If, indeed, no manipulation took place, why are you so abhorrent of a system audit?

  14. THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has launched an investigation into the “unauthorized” change of the script of its transparency server by technology provider Smarmatic Corp
    ——————————————–

    Comelec is going to investigate the cheating they and smartmatic are accused of, Gee i wonder what the results of investigating their own cheating will be.