• The credibility of the VP election must be salvaged, and fast


    THE evasive way in which growing questions over the integrity of the close-fought race for the vice presidency are being handled by both the Commission on Elections and its technology provider Smartmatic is only deepening suspicions that the results have been tampered with. If Comelec has any hope whatsoever of convincing anyone that the official results, when they are finally produced, are at all accurate, it must act decisively, now, to restore the credibility of the process and its outcome.

    Over the past few months, large-scale attacks on the supposedly secure systems of important institutions have become almost an epidemic; our country is already wrestling with the fallout of one of those, the $81-million Bangladesh Bank heist. And, of course, it was only very recently that the Comelec’s voters information database was stolen by hackers.

    In the case of that data breach, it was difficult to decide what was more alarming—the fact that hackers were able to easily obtain sensitive personal information for millions of voters, or the dismissive way with which Comelec responded to the matter. While Comelec has spoken out a bit more forcefully on the controversial and completely improper action of inserting new script in the system by Smartmatic, it has only been to deflect any blame for the irregularity to the latter, but while essentially backing Smartmatic’s argument that the action was harmless.

    Comelec needs to take a step back and remind itself of what its mandate from the people is with respect to this election: that the votes are collected, tabulated, and the results produced quickly, accurately, and in a manner clearly obvious to anyone observing that is fair and transparent, so that the outcome is beyond question.

    There is nothing but questions about the outcome of the vice-presidential election so far, and none of these are even being remotely answered. They may be, in the course of impending Senate hearings and other investigations of the Smartmatic script-insertion issue, but the results of those inquiries may come too late to undo the damage. The specter of a vice president being removed from office due to irregularities in the vote counting would be a historical first; obviously, it is one we hope the country never sees. And there is no reason it should.

    It seems that nothing short of a manual recount of the ballots can adequately dispel the doubt about who our next vice president will be. Comelec will try to avoid this, of course, as it would completely invalidate the notion of the superiority of automated elections, but we strongly urge them to consider it. No elected official at any level, and especially not in one of the highest offices in the land, can perform at his or her best if questions of legitimacy are not resolved. And if the body in charge of the country’s elections is not willing to resolve the questions swirling around one office, it casts doubt on the credibility of them all.

    By contrast, taking decisive action now to call for a recount, even if that seems something more than necessary to put an end to the confusion, sends the message that Comelec is committed to carrying out its mandate to ensure that the people’s will has been properly expressed. As we see it, the poll body is in no position to refuse, but if it has another solution to offer, we would certainly like to hear it.


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    1. All of the accusations being thrown in all directions, without any PROOF, is not far to the People. If anyone has any proof of wrongdoing, from or by anyone, show it now. Stop all this nonsense!

    2. Daniel B. Laurente on

      The word “cosmetic” was not even correct word. What does the word implies The dictionary says…” enhancement” or Improvement”. Does the character ? that was changed to n made the improvements o enhanced the number of the subject recipient? Maybe or maybe not,unless that letter n is subjected to extreme scrutiny by IT experts or software experts.
      Legally i think nobody is authorized to tinker with software unless there a black and white authorization from the software maker or owner that they can tinker with it. It is protected by law.

    3. In addition, exit polls showed bbm is ahead ( counts from the precinct level from the political watchers).

      Meron bang boto sa mindanao na duterte – robredo? Of course duterte-bongbong. Let’s watch the count from mindanao to prove ppcrv’s server is wrong.

      Novotel served 20 rooms for smartmatic’s officials. Why is it that only five rooms was inspected by bautista and kuno ppcrv?

      If the votes are for robredo, ofcourse the vote for president is roxas, generally.

      These are points to ponder.

    4. Its common sense if the comelec will not allow recount that robredo’s victory is tainted with deception.

    5. Armando vollamor on

      Blame the priest who created the problem and Bautista recount is the best way at huwag makialam ang simbaham

      • Unfortunately, this was performed within Catholic Priests’ control

        They even used the “Parish Pastoral” title to their operations

        Rizal might be crying now, since it was the same institution that murdered him at Luneta, that was committing massive massacre to the Filipinos.

    6. As Filipinos, we cannot avoid doubts and suspicions regarding the last election. The only way is to show tangible proof that the number of votes were counted wrong. Anybody can say many unfounded ideas but let us be wise to select the complain that can show the tampered results that may change the totals. Other than that , we are just creating an illusion of distrust with the system. Chairman Bautista is very fair and well balance in the handling of the election. An honorable person but some people still bad mouth him in social media. The problem is that is the Filipino culture. We should just select what is true and what is not true.

      • Leodegardo Pruna on

        I personally doubt the integrity of Chairman Bautista. I wish he is but from all indication he has met his water loo. The sweet talking chairman would do well if he chose the truth rather than what Smartmatic is smart in saying. That whatever it did was “Cosmetic”. Making a fool of the Filipino people is one thing but toying around the law and making it a false excuse is another. How could it be that for reason of applying cosmetic change the system suddenly shows not one beauty but ugly monster. Comelec should correct the perception that it is going along the lines of P-Noy’s Plan B. God save the Philippines.

    7. Let me save everyone some time,

      Comelec will say the election was fair and refuse to do the manual recount. Lawsuits will be filed and they will die before or after they reach the Supreme Court. People might remember the Supreme Court stacked with Aquino appointees that changed the constitution to allow Poe to run for president.

      Years later people will still be talking about how the 2016 elections were stolen and how Comelec and the Supreme Court allowed it just like the 2013 elections and how nobody was arrested for either one.

      Bottom line the Philippines is not capable of holding fair elections, need the United Nations to supervise any election due to every agency in the Philippines is just as corrupt as the President.

      • Tell us what went wrong and avoid accusing the Comelec of wrong doing. Avoid heresays and gossips. Be factual. Are the vote totals wrong? You said it was rigged, do you have any proofs ? It is easy to bad mouth the Comelec but for heavens sakes, be factual.

    8. Yes, you are right manual recount is the only recourse for Vice President election return. Because what smartmatic abrupt decision to change a code in the middle of computerized election return for Vice President . Smartmatic should bear the cost because of these fallout.this is very important to erase any doubt as this tend to polarized our election system.

    9. the hacking was a part of the plan of Pinoy to steal the election. Pinoy is EVIL GENIUS as Joker Arroyo called him. Pagtingin mo sa kanya ay parang nagngingising Demonyo.