BANNER: Marcos to Comelec: open transparency and central server for audit

Vice Presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to allow his team of Information Technology (IT) experts to conduct an audit of the transparency server and the central server of the poll body used in the May 9 elections.

In a three-page letter to Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, Marcos noted that the poll body has yet to answer his legal team’s letter dated May 17, 2016 asking the Comelec to shed light on the introduction of a new script into the transparency server around 7:30 p.m. of May 9, 2016.

Marcos said what is clear is that Smartmatic introduced the new script in breach of the pertinent protocols and without prior clearance from the poll body.

He said the implications of such a change, and the admitted breach of protocols “are gravely disconcerting to say the least”. Worse, Marcos said it cast doubts on the process and raised various questions.

Marcos also noted that the alteration done removed the only security feature of the data, causing hash codes to change. Because of this Marcos said there is no assurance the data was not altered in other occasions.

Noting that the poll body only admitted the alteration of the script of the transparency server after his camp raised the issue, Marcos said it also raised questions about the central server of the Comelec over which the political parties and candidates have no direct access.

Marcos pointed out that the supposed discrepancy where “ñ” was displaying “?” occurred only in the transparency server and not in the vote counting machines (VCM), the Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS), the election returns (ER), and the ballots when they are part of the same system.

“Could it be that the transparency server was loaded with an entirely different program that was not presented to the political parties and candidates?” Marcos queried.

Atty. Jose Amor Amorado, head of the internal Quick Count operation of Marcos, said the audit will settle the issue on whether the script change was indeed merely cosmetic or if it was more than that.

Meanwhile, Abakada party list Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz, campaign adviser of Marcos, clarified that the senator’s camp is not accusing anybody of cheating and that they are only after the truth as well as the integrity and credibility of the results of the May 9 elections.

“We are only after the truth and if other parties, such as Malacanang, the camp of Rep. Leni Robredo and her IT experts are interested in this audit they are welcome to take part in this too,” Dela Cruz concluded.#