The Manila Times – IT experts should join audit – Marcos

The Manila Times

Manila timesAll Information Technology (IT) experts as well as representatives of winning candidates are welcome to participate in the system audit of the transparency and central servers of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the camp of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Saturday.

“We would like to urge all IT experts to go there [Comelec], to have themselves accredited and take a look and see for themselves what happened,” Marcos’ campaign adviser Abakada Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz announced.

Earlier, Marcos formally asked the Comelec to allow his own IT experts to conduct a system audit to find out what transpired after Smartmatic personnel changed the script of the transparency server on the night of May 9.

The senator said his IT experts will work under the supervision of the poll body.

In addition to the audit, Marcos’ camp also asked Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista to provide additional information concerning other components of the Automated Election System like the transmission logs, the white list (vote counting machines, USB devices, BGAN or Broadband Global Area Network); digitally-signed election returns (ERs), and the public and decryption keys to open the transmitted files.

Marcos also wants to know the number of CCS (Consolidation and Canvassing System) laptops/servers that were reported to contain rogue votes coming from the pre-election logical accuracy test and mock elections on election day; the municipalities, cities and provinces affected and the measures the poll body took to rectify the supposed error.

De la Cruz pointed out that the system audit that Marcos sought is not directed at a particular candidate. He said their camp only wants to determine the integrity of the elections.

“We have to have a system audit. We have to see the transmission logs because that is the only way we can see what really happened,” De la Cruz said.

He added that the people should not accept Smartmatic’s excuse that the change was innocuous because in computer technology, everything can change with just one push of a button or a single letter or icon.

De la Cruz said that they also found out that all vote counting machines (VCMs) did not transmit a single election result at around 10 p.m. on May 9.

“Lahat ng VCM sa buong bansa walang nagtransmit (All VCMs did not transmit) for a period of one hour. After which nagkaroon ng kababalaghan (a mystery happened). Kaya dapat magkaroon ng system audit para malaman kung anong katotohanan” [A system audit will reveal the truth], he said.

De la Cruz earlier filed criminal complaints against Smartmatic executives Marlon Garcia and Elie Moreno for introducing a new script in the transparency server of the Comelec without proper authorization. Also included in the complaint were Neil Banigued, a member of the Smartmatic Technical Support Team and Rouie Peñalba, IT officer of the Comelec who were involved in the script change.

They were charged with violation of the Automated Elections Law which prohibits interfering with “the generation, transmission of election results, data or information.”

De la Cruz said the law also prohibits “gaining or causing access to, using, altering and destroying computer data, program and system software, network, or any computer-related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether classified or declassified.”
The Comelec en banc is set to discuss Marcos’ petition on Tuesday.

Bautista had said that he is inclined to allow a poll audit but it will have to be conducted by a group of independent international experts.

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