July 2nd, 2012
FROM A DISTANCE By Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) Updated July 01, 2012 12:00 AM
Comelec seems bent on using the PCOS regardless of unresolved issues.
Are Filipinos being disenfranchised slowly but surely? Comelec renewed the PCOS contract illegally after the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona, with the intimidated Supreme Court voting in favor of the renewal, 11-3.
I was at the hearing and I remember one justice saying that there was no more time to question and change the system. The lawyers sitting around me looked askance, amazed a justice would even say that. The Supreme Court is a trier of law, not of fact. If the Comelec did not follow the requirements of law to renew the contract then it should not have renewed the contract, period. All the rest is subterfuge.
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We have a problem in our hands because it is not easy for ordinary voters to understand the technology of the machines and the automated electoral system. Without a public outcry Comelec hopes it can get away using the same machines.
The starkest example of why the machines cannot be trusted came from former North Cotabato Governor Manny Pinol. He found ballots from Colombia in a machine. It is clear that something very wrong happened.
If the machines were trustworthy as Smartmatic-PCOS says they are, it is unbelievable that ballots from Colombia should end up being counted in the Philippines. Pinol also reports thermal papers in the ER envelopes which either did not have any Comelec seal or had Citibank Visa Paylite and Citibank Mastercard markings.
We should have believed the whistleblower derisively called Koala Bear when he said there were two ways to tamper election results: “hacking” and “pre-loading.”
As the official Comelec documents in Biliran later show, these 2 modes appear to have taken place.
The audit logs from each pcos machine) taken in relation to the print logs (from the municipal server) show at least 3 apparent modes of “hacking”:
Unauthorized transmission and receipt of electronic returns from an unknown source (where the PCOS machine repeatedly failed to transmit and then closed at 8 p.m., but the municipal server surprisingly received a transmission from the said pcos/precinct 3 hours later at 11 p.m., of May 10);
Unauthorized double transmission and receipt of electronic returns from the same PCOS machine with assigned clustered precinct but using distinctly different IP addresses;
(3) unauthorized double use of one and the same IP address to transmit electronic election returns from 2 different pcos machines of 2 separate clustered precincts.
The preloading mode was also used in Biliran. The audit logs from each pcos machine show apparent preloading of ballots into the CF cards. This is shown by the “protective counter” entries in the audit logs which counts the numbers of ballots the pcos had scanned.
If the pcos machines were actually reconfigured as what Comelec says, then the protective counters should have restarted with 0 before testing and sealing. So that after testing and sealing with 10 ballots, the first official ballot cast would be numbered 11. Data from Biliran will show that of the 145 official PCOS audit logs available, only 2 PCOS had protective counters starting at 0. All the 143 pcos had initial protective counter numbers anywhere from 1 to 128 with a great majority at 29 scans before testing and sealing.
The total initial scans for all 143 PCOS is 4,114 ballots scanned before testing and sealing. The CF card controls the protective counter mechanism so that if they showed initial data before any official ballot is cast, it only means they were not in fact reconfigured after all.
The evidence of fraud lies in the audit trail of the automated election system. If only the parties concerned or the people, as in the case of Biliran, were able to get the PCOS audit logs and mboc print logs. More of similar cases as shown in Biliran could have been discovered.
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With the Comelec renewing the contract of Smartmatic-PCOS with the same machines and electoral system we are cooked. This spells trouble.
It is shocking to hear from Smartmatic Asia president Cesar Flores, that the machines can produce receipts for 2013, but it is the Comelec that does not want the function used?
Smartmatic-PCOS claims all the glitches of the May 2010 elections have been corrected but did not say what the glitches were.
Surprisingly, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has given the go-signal to use PCOS machines as well as the consolidated canvassing system (CCS) machines in next year’s mid-term elections.
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In my opinion it would be more useful to look at the complaints in every country where Smartmatic PCOS machines and its automated electoral system were used. That would give us a better picture on what is going on.
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Miscellany: Honorary consul for Ivory Coast Atty. Vicente Carlos has written this column that he has complained about Makati RTC Judge Perpetua Atal-Pano for her negligence with the Office of the Court Administrator.
He has not received any order notice of his case since he filed it in September 2011. He was informed that the case was raffled to Branch 134 but when he asked the personnel of Branch 134 about the status of the case, he was told they had not yet received the files of the case.
When he followed up this case again last January, he was informed again that the files were not yet in the said Branch.
Finally last May 11, 2012, he visited the office of Executive Judge of Makati. With the help of the staff, they were able to verify that said files were indeed with Branch 134.
Atty Carlos requested the Office of the Court Administrator to investigate the matter and impose the proper sanctions to those who were negligent in their duties, particularly Judge Perpetua Atal-Pano. What’s happening?
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We had a good talk over lunch with Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s living descendants Justice Amor Herrera and former Prime Minister Cesar Virata on what can be done about revisiting Emilio Aguinaldo’s role in the Philippine war of independence against the US. He has not been properly given the honor he deserves. My FB friend Sultan Jamal Ashley Abbas who has done some work on Aguinaldo joined us. He too is concerned that instead of being given credit for his work, Aguinaldo has been vilified unfairly by Filipino and American historians. It is time to write the true story of one of our foremost heroes whom French journalists called the Napoleon Bonaparte of the Philippines.
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