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Disclosure of security features of COC to help determine authenticity

Press Releases
25 May 2016

Discrepancies Found  In Electronically-Transmitted COC

The Counsel for Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today asked the Joint Canvassing Committee to divulge the security markings and features of the Certificates of Canvass after discrepancies surfaced on the first day of the official canvass of votes for President and Vice President.

Former Cong. Didagen Dilangalen, one of the counsels for Marcos, argued that divulging the security features of the COCs will help determine the authenticity of the election documents.

“How would we know if the COC is authentic or not?” Dilangalen queried noting it is the duty of the Joint Canvassing Committee to determine the due execution of the election documents as provided for under the laws.

However, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, overruled the motion of Dilangalen noting that none of the members of the Senate panel in the Joint Canvassing Committee challenged the authenticity of the COC.

It was Pimentel, Chair of the Senate panel, who noted that from the 5 electronically-transmitted COC’s from Davao Del Sur—the first one to be canvassed—4 COC’s matched but the figures in one, or the first transmission, do not match with the rest. Pimentel ruled that the panel would use the last four transmissions.

A member of the panel of the House of Representatives, Camarines Sur 1st District Rep. Rolando Andaya,Jr. also questioned the basis of the ruling of the panel when it was the first electronically-transmitted COC which is different from the rest.

In view of the manifestation of Andaya, the joint panel requested the Comelec to submit a written report within 24-hours to explain why there were discrepancies on the electronically transmitted COCs from Davao del Sur.

It could be recalled that Marcos has sought an audit of the transparency and central servers of the Commission on Election before the official canvass after learning a Smartmatic technician introduced a new script without proper authorization. Marcos had cited that it was shortly after this that his closest rival started to catch up.

Marcos said the audit should be done by his own IT experts, under the supervision of the Comelec, and with the participation of other interested parties. He said this is the only way to find out if the script change resulted to merely cosmetic changes, as claimed by Comelec, or did more than that.

However, the poll body failed to act on the request of Marcos that the audit be done before the start of the official canvass.