Statement of Atty. Vic Rodriguez on Manila Prosec Resolution

3 November 2016

Former Senator Bongbong Marcos finds it horrible that despite the express and categorical admission made by the COMELEC IT personnel, Mr. Rouie Penalba, of his lack of authority to allow any tweaking of any component of the AES, the OCP of Manila still ruled in favor Smartmatic and dismissed the case filed by Abakada Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz.

For us, the issue of the complaint was simple – were COMELEC and Smartmatic authorized to change the system at the height of the transmission of votes on May 9, 2016? With the admissions coming from COMELEC officials, including Chairman Andres Bautista himself, that no authority was given to change the script on the night of the elections, it would have been an easy decision for the Manila Prosecutors’ Office to make a finding of probable cause to charge the respondents with the violation of the Cyber Crime Law.

To our mind, compliance or non-compliance on the "Protocol of Escalation" or the intention of replacing a character in the system supposedly for “cosmetic change” would have been best ventilated in a full blown trial of facts and not on a party's mere invocation as a matter of defense. The same should have been afforded to establish that such a forbidden act of "tweaking" was indeed undertaken with malicious intent.

The panel prosecutors, however, looked the other way, took the defense of Smartmatic and COMELEC personnel at face value and completely downplayed the admissions on the unauthorized change.

But Senator Marcos will not let this resolution hold him up in his search for truth. An appeal will be made within the period before the Department of Justice. Senator Marcos would like to reiterate that he will not stop until the whole truth in the conduct of the last elections is revealed and all vote cast are properly counted.