Marcos’ camp confident Comelec will allow system audit

Marcos’ camp confident Comelec will allow system audit

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of vice presidential candidate-Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is hoping that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will approve their request to conduct a system audit of the transparency and central servers of the Automated Election System (AES) before Congress starts the official canvassing of votes on Wednesday, May 25.

According to Atty. Jose Amor Amorado, head of Marcos’ Quick Count Center, they are confident that the poll body will let them conduct the audit of the said servers as well as getting access to transmission logs, vote counting machines (VCM), USB devices, BGAN or Broadband Global Area Network, digitally signed election returns (ERs) and the public and decryption keys to open the transmitted files.

“We remain hopeful that Comelec will grant our demand to open the AES for audit because I am sure the Comelec would want to uncover the truth in the unauthorized change in script of the transparency server,” Amorado said in a statement.

The lawyer noted that with the integrity of the elections on the line with the unauthorized script change by Smartmatic personnel, the Comelec, especially its Chairman Juan Andres Bautista, would want to erase all doubts as regards the issue by consenting to the system audit.

Earlier, Marcos asked the poll body to allow his IT experts as well as other candidates and interested parties to audit the two servers, under supervision by the poll body.

The lawmaker said this is the only way to find out if the unauthorized script change in the transparency server produced only a cosmetic change — as the poll body claimed — or much more.

On the other hand, Abakada Party-list Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz, Marcos’ campaign adviser, pointed out that since the vice presidential race was closely fought, it would be to the best interest of both parties to ensure there would not be any doubt on the results of the elections and the winner could assume office with a clear mandate from the Filipino people.

“Viewed in this light, our demand for the conduct of a system audit is not only very reasonable but also absolutely necessary. If Rep. (Leni) Robredo is really interested in finding out the truth and ensuring the credibility of the election results, she should join us in our call for a system audit,” he said.

Dela Cruz added, “The senator (Marcos) also wants to know the number of 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.”

Last Friday, the camp of Marcos filed before the Comelec charges for violation of the Automated Election Law against Smartmatic personnel Marlon Garcia and three other persons in connection with the introduction of a new script into the transparency sever without proper authorization from the poll body. PNA/