April 23, 2013
Poll watchdog Kontra Daya today hit the statement of poll chief Sixto Brillantes that he is no longer interested in pursuing the source code review for lack of time. The group said that the source code review is a requirement by the automation law and a minimum safeguard to ensure the credibility of election results.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Brillantes was quoted in the media yesterday as saying that he’s no longer interested because it’s already too late and that election day is so close and even if the source code is given now, it can no longer be reviewed for lack of time.
“The source code review is a requirement under the (poll automation) law. It’s not optional nor subject to the sole discretion of the Comelec chair,” said Fr. Joe Dizon, Kontra Daya spokesperson.
More importantly, Fr. Dizon added, doing away with the source code review will further cast doubt on the integrity of the 2013 elections even before it started. “The whole outcome will be under a cloud of doubt. The source code review was instituted precisely to assure the political parties and the electorate that the software to be used in counting our votes is trustworthy. It wasn’t put there out of whim like what Brillantes makes it appear with his irresponsible statements,” Fr. Dizon said.
Dizon said that the problem with the source code review could have been avoided had the Comelec disallowed private and foreign corporations to run the Philippine elections. “That’s the problem with privatized, foreign-controlled elections. We could not even access and review their technology because of private ownership when what is at stake is a very important public interest and the very exercise of our sovereignty as a people,” argued Dizon.
Kontra Daya renewed its call to the public to remain vigilant and continue pressuring the Comelec to ensure that the minimum safeguards to protect the integrity of the automated elections such as the source code review are put in place. The group plans to undertake a national monitorign of the Final Testing and Sealing of PCOS machines which will be done a week before the elections. It also said that the electorate should prepare for possible manual count because of Comelec’s continuing failure to address the fundamental problems facing the country’s second attempt at nationwide automated polls. (End)