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Smartmatic owes public explanation over discrepancies in electronically-transmitted COCs – Marcos lawyer

Press Releases
27 May 2016

Aside from an unusually high number of undervotes, the camp of Vice Presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. asserted that Smartmatic owes the public an explanation over the discrepancies found in the electronically-transmitted Certificates of Canvass in several provinces.

In an interview at the close of the 2nd day of the official canvass, Marcos’ lead counsel Atty. George Garcia pointed out, for example, that in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Ilocos Sur, the provincial Canvassing and Consolidation System (CCS) transmitted the COCs when there was incomplete transmission of results in the municipal level.

“How can the provincial CCS transmit (the COC) to the Comelec (Commission on Elections) when the program says it should be 100 percent transmission of all municipalities in that province?” Garcia queried?

Garcia cited that in the case of the two provinces the respective Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) were unaware the municipal transmissions were incomplete until the Comelec en banc ordered them to recheck and recompute the results.

They later found out that election results in one municipality was not included in the first provincial COC transmitted to the Comelec.

“How can this happen when Smartmatic assured us that their machines are accurate and reliable?” Garcia said.

“It’s their obligation to the Filipino people. They were the ones who supplied to us the machines, they were the ones who supplied to us the system, they were the ones who assured that it will be 99.9996 percent accurate, then an explanation is a must,” he added.

Garcis said that unless clarified and addressed properly such issue would likely raise questions over the results of the elections.

“What if there was double transmission or no transmission at all yet the results reflect there was one?” Garcia said.

He said because of the discrepancies and the unusually high percentage of undervotes uncovered during the official canvass for the position of President and Vice President losing candidates in other positions are probably now re-checking the results in their own area to find out what really happened.

Meanwhile, Garcia also said the public also has the right to know why there was such a high number of undervotes for the position of Vice President, which totaled about 3.2 million for the first two days of the official canvass.

He explained that they arrived at the figure by deducting the total number of votes for the position of Vice President from the total number of votes cast.

“It’s true that some voters opted not to vote for a certain position and that’s normal. But take note of the percentage, that’s 3.2 million voters who did not vote for Vice President,” said Garcia.

With such a hotly-contested election and the high voter turnout of over 80 percent, Garcia said the high number of undervotes should be explained. He said areas where large number of undervotes occurred were in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Earlier, the camp of Marcos sought a systems audit of the central and transparency server of the Comelec over the introduction of a new script by a Smartmatic personnel without proper authorization from the Comelec en banc.

It was shortly after this action, according to Marcos, that he began to lose his lead over his closest rival and eventually overtaken in the unofficial partial results of the elections posted by a poll watchdog group.

Marcos insisted only such an audit would clear doubts on the results of the elections. However, the Comelec turned down such request.