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(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

SENATE, HOUSE CANVASS PANELS HAVE DIFFERING VIEWS ON VP ISSUES
[RELATED: Hundreds of academics call for responsible data science in analyzing polls]


MAY 25 -CONGRESS CONVENES Senate President Franklin Drilon (second from left) and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. turn over the contents of one ballot box to Sen. Koko Pimentel and Rep. Boyet Gonzales at the Batasang Pambansa complex. LYN RILLON Can the winning presidential candidate in the May 9 elections be proclaimed ahead of the winning vice presidential candidate? The leaders of the canvassing panels of the House of Representatives and the Senate are divided on the matter, but the decision ultimately rests with the members of Congress. The question arose on Tuesday when Congress convened as the national board of canvassers (NBOC) to count the votes for the country’s top elective posts amid the landslide win of Rodrigo Duterte in the presidential race and the hairline lead of Leni Robredo over Bongbong Marcos in the vice presidential contest based on an unofficial quick count.
Marcos has raised suspicion about the quick count by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the citizens’ arm of the Commission on Elections (Comelec). Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, head of the House canvassing panel, said he could not see how separate proclamations could be done. He noted that the certificates of canvass (COCs) contained the votes for both President and Vice President so that questioning the result for one position would mean questioning that for the other. But Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, head of the Senate canvassing panel, said separate proclamations could be done “theoretically,” although it did not happen before for the positions of President and Vice President. But Pimentel told reporters that he saw no legal impediment to the idea of proclaiming the President earlier. READ MORE...RELATED, Academics call for responsible data science in analyzing polls...

ALSO: Comelec defers action on Marcos plea
[RELATED: Groups protest Marcos's supposed attempts to cast doubt on polls]


MAY 25 -(FILE) Vice-presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., waves to supporters on his last campaign rally for Monday's presidential elections Thursday, May 5, 2016 at suburban Mandaluyong city east of Manila, Philippines. Marcos, the son of the late Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos, is in a "statistical tie" with administration candidate Leni Robredo in poll surveys leading to May 9 elections.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Voting unanimously, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided to defer any action to the request for systems audit of vice presidential aspirant Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista cited three reasons for this, among them the ongoing canvassing of votes for president and vice president in Congress. “We have reservations since canvassing has already begun in Congress, which also has the mandate to proclaim the winning president and vice president. So, what could be its effect if we allow this audit by a particular candidate,” he said in a forum in Manila. “There are also these criminal complaints versus Smartmatic and Comelec. What could happen if they find anything during the audit? Will they use it as evidence?” added Bautista. READ MORE...RELATED, Groups protest Marcos's supposed attempts to cast doubt on polls...

ALSO: Vigilance urged to protect vote
[Marcos questions results in Senate privilege speech]


MAY 24 -Call for vigilance. Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his privilege speech during Monday’s resumption of sessions at the Senate in Pasay City. EY ACASIO
VICE presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. urged Filipinos Monday to observe “eternal vigilance” to protect the sanctity of their votes as he took to task the Commission on Elections [Comelec] for turning a blind eye to the massive cheating that marred the May 9 elections.
“What is at stake today is the sanctity of suffrage, which great leaders teach us must be guarded at every turn,” Marcos said in a privilege speech Monday. “Many attribute the phrase: ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’ to Thomas Jefferson. This is so very true.” Without naming him, Marcos also took a swipe at President Benigno Aquino III, who had declared before the elections that he would do all in his power to stop Marcos from winning the vice presidency.“We need leaders who are less interested in promoting their own interest, and their own party, and more interested in leaving behind the enduring example of free and fair elections,” said Marcos. He said his call for eternal vigilance was not about him being cheated in the vice presidential race, but concerned all voters. “We must, all of us, guard against coming intimidation, manipulation and even fraud by forces of the political status quo,” the senator said. This was truer today than it was two weeks ago, he added. “This odious legacy of this government and the allegations surrounding it cannot be left investigated. Evidence cannot be left unreviewed. And truth cannot be left unspoken…Because truth is the lifeblood of eternal vigilance,” said Marcos READ MORE...

ALSO: Cybercrime raps filed vs comelec


MAY 25 -ase filed. Abakada Party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz and lawyer Jose Amorado file a case against Smartmatic and Comelec IT personnel for alleged violation of the cyber crime law at the Manila City Hall on Tuesday. DANNY PATA
THE camp of vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. filed charges Tuesday against Smartmatic and Commission on Elections personnel, accusing them of violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act by illegally changing the program used by the transparency server on the night of the elections. Charged were Smartmatic personnel Marlon Garcia, a Venezuelan national and head of the Technical Support Team; Elie Moreno, an Israeli national and project director and Neil Banigued and Mauricio Herrera, members of the Technical Support Team; and Comelec IT experts led by Rouie Peñalba, Nelson Herrera and Frances Mae Gonzalez. The complaint was filed by Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, Marcos’ campaign advisor. Accompanied by lawyer Jose Amor Amorado, head of Marcos’ Quick Count Center, Dela Cruz said the group clearly violated Section 4 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act by intentionally altering computer data, without right and altering and interfering with the functioning of a computer and computer network by inputting, deleting and altering computer data and program, without right or authority. Dela Cruz pointed out that respondents were tasked to ensure the credibility of the elections by manning the transparency server at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center Building in Manila. No other personnel is allowed in the transparency server except the Comelec, through its IT Department. Despite such rules, Dela Cruz said respondents entered the room with the transparency server and changed the script without authorization on the night of the elections when transmissions were in full swing. He said the server could not have been accessed without the consent of the Comelec IT personnel because they had the other password to open it. READ MORE...

ALSO: Robredo accuses Marcos camp of calling for ‘people power’ to protest proclamation


MAY 25 -ROBREDO -Leading vice-presidential candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo on Wednesday expressed concern about reports that the camp of her closest rival, Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., is calling for "people power" to protest her possible proclamation. "Kagaya kahapon na may nagpadala sa atin ng videos at pictures na umiikot karamihan sa mga informal settlers na sites na nag-e-encourage ng people power at nagsasabi na sila yung panalo," Robredo claimed during a press conference in Quezon City. GMA News Online is seeking comment from the Marcos camp about Robredo's comment as of posting time. Marcos is the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. who was ousted from Malacañang in 1986 by a people power revolt. The uprising installed into power former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, mother of incumbent President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Former president Marcos, who died while on exile in Hawaii in 1989, was accused of committing human rights abuses and siphoning off some $10 billion from state coffers during his two-decade rule from 1965 to 1986. Still confident Meanwhile, Robredo remains confident that she will be proclaimed vice president. "Confident naman ako na kung ano yung katotohanan yun ang lalabas... Parang nakakalungkot lang na parang tine-take advantage yung hindi pagkaalam ng tao para paniwalaan yung isang kasinungalingan," Robredo said. "Yung sa akin lahat naman tayo may karapatang magpahayag ng ating gustong ipahayag. Basta sana yung totoo lang kasi ang nabibiktima nito hindi naman ako. Ang nabibiktima ang mga tao kaya sana matigil na," she added. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

VP issue divides Congress SENATE, HOUSE CANVASS PANELS HAVE DIFFERING VIEWS


CONGRESS CONVENES Senate President Franklin Drilon (second from left) and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. turn over the contents of one ballot box to Sen. Koko Pimentel and Rep. Boyet Gonzales at the Batasang Pambansa complex. LYN RILLON 

MANILA, MAY 30, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet  May 25th, 2016 - Can the winning presidential candidate in the May 9 elections be proclaimed ahead of the winning vice presidential candidate?

The leaders of the canvassing panels of the House of Representatives and the Senate are divided on the matter, but the decision ultimately rests with the members of Congress.

The question arose on Tuesday when Congress convened as the national board of canvassers (NBOC) to count the votes for the country’s top elective posts amid the landslide win of Rodrigo Duterte in the presidential race and the hairline lead of Leni Robredo over Bongbong Marcos in the vice presidential contest based on an unofficial quick count.

Marcos has raised suspicion about the quick count by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the citizens’ arm of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, head of the House canvassing panel, said he could not see how separate proclamations could be done.

He noted that the certificates of canvass (COCs) contained the votes for both President and Vice President so that questioning the result for one position would mean questioning that for the other.

But Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, head of the Senate canvassing panel, said separate proclamations could be done “theoretically,” although it did not happen before for the positions of President and Vice President.

But Pimentel told reporters that he saw no legal impediment to the idea of proclaiming the President earlier.

READ MORE...

Sen. Vicente Sotto III, a member of the Senate canvassing panel, also believed the President could be proclaimed ahead of the Vice President.

Vacuum

“What we don’t want is for there to be a vacuum. We abhor vacuums,” Sotto said in an ambush interview.

He said there could be separate proclamations because the Senate leadership made it clear that under the canvassing rules, the board could tackle separately the issues or objections concerning the votes for President and the votes for Vice President in the COCs.

This means that there would be no delays with regard to the positions where the COCs have not been questioned.

Sotto initially moved during the joint Congress session to include in the canvassing rules the separate handling of the issues concerning the votes for President and Vice President.

But Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said Sotto’s proposal was already included in the inherent powers of the NBOC. Sotto withdrew his motion.

But Gonzales said the COC for one province or city contained the votes for President, Vice President and even the senators. If the execution of a COC for a province is OK, then it is OK for all the positions, he added.

“You can’t be blind about the observations for the votes for President and then have your eyes open for the observations for votes for Vice President,” he told reporters.

Panels formed

The Senate and the House formed the canvassing committee during a joint session on Tuesday and approved the rules that would govern the proclamation of the country’s next leaders.

For the Senate, the panel will be headed by Pimentel. Its members are Senators Sonny Angara, Ralph Recto, Teofisto Guingona III, Sergio Osmeña III, Juan Ponce Enrile and Sotto.

The alternate members are Senators Cynthia Villar and JV Ejercito.

For the House, the panel will be headed by Gonzales and its members are Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, and 1BAP Rep. Silvestre Bello.

The alternates are Pampanga Rep. Oscar Rodriguez, Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya and San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora.

Marcos challenge

Marcos had indicated that there were COCs from several provinces that his camp intended to challenge for supposedly questionable results.

The areas included the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, where he said there were reports that people were not allowed to vote and that ballots were preshaded.

The ballot boxes containing the COCs were brought to the House from the Senate early on Tuesday morning. They had been housed in the Senate since May 9.

Marcos has questioned the alteration of the script in the transparency server used by the PPCRV, contending that poll officials did not present proof that the change only resulted in a cosmetic and not substantial change.

Last week, Marcos sent a formal letter to the Comelec demanding that his camp be allowed to conduct a systems audit to determine the extent of the effect of the supposedly unsanctioned change in the data packet for a transparency server on the night of Election Day.

He has been suggesting that because of the change in the script in the data packet, supposed irregularities in the count of votes in the vice presidential race occurred.

Count unaffected

Earlier, Comelec and its technology partner Smartmatic had explained that the minor change in the script only involved substituting “?” that appeared in the names of certain candidates with “ñ” and that this did not affect the counting of the votes.

The Marcos camp claims that the change in the script may have allowed Robredo to overtake him in the PPCRV count.

The senator was trailing Robredo by more than 200,000 votes when the PPCRV ended its quick count last week, with 96.17 percent of election returns counted.

Gonzales said it would be up to the canvassing committee, made up of designated members of both houses of Congress, to decide what action to take on any observations or protests that the camp of Marcos may raise.

But he also said the NBOC was tasked with tabulating the votes, not to investigate alleged fraud.

Not board of inquiry

Quoting Senator Enrile’s statements during a previous canvassing, Gonzales said the board’s mandate was to canvass and tabulate the votes.

“It’s not a board of inquiry,” he added. With a report from Jocelyn R. Uy

-------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Academics call for responsible data science in analyzing polls 0 Share Patricia Lourdes Viray - May 25, 2016 - 3:32pm


A photo of Philippine presidential race front-runner Rodrigo Duterte is shown on the electronic board at the church-backed election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, PPCRV, in Manila, Philippines on Monday, May 9, 2016. One of the five presidential candidates, Grace Poe, has conceded to Rodrigo Duterte who is leading in the unofficial count of votes for the presidential elections. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — More than 100 data science professionals and academics called for responsible data science in national discourse in connection with the 2016 general elections.

This follows allegations of election fraud when Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo overtook Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. in the partial and unofficial vote count of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the vice presidential race.

"People need to be able to trust data. This means there is great responsibility on the part of those who collect, analyze, interpret, and report data, especially when it concerns matters of public interests," the academics said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Ateneo de Manila University Prof. David Yap earlier claimed that he has discovered patterns on the votes that came into the transparency server of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting.

De La Salle University Prof. Antonio Contreras then insisted that the patterns discovered by Yap were signs of electoral fraud based on the trends on votes received by Robredo and Marcos.

Other academics, however, insisted that the trend on votes garnered by Marcos and Robredo does not prove electronic electoral fraud.

"Here, we assert that an inverted V-shaped graph of the difference of votes between vice-presidential candidates Marcos and Robredo, plotted against the percentage of votes transmitted, does not amount to evidence of fraud," the statement read.

The academics' statement further explained that the trend on votes is an expected pattern as the votes came in from different regions at different times.

"Many individuals and groups carried out independent analyses and communicated technical and logical arguments arriving at this conclusion," the academics said.

The camp of Robredo has challenged Marcos to present evidence proving that certificates of canvass are not authentic.

Marcos earlier asked the Comelec to conduct a system audit of the transparency and central servers of the Automated Election System. The poll body, however, unanimously decided to postpone action on the senator's request.


MANILA BULLETIN

Comelec defers action on Marcos plea by Leslie Ann Aquino May 25, 2016 Share2 Tweet0 Share0 Email1 Share21 image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/BBM-2016-polls.jpg


(FILE) Vice-presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., waves to supporters on his last campaign rally for Monday's presidential elections Thursday, May 5, 2016 at suburban Mandaluyong city east of Manila, Philippines. Marcos, the son of the late Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos, is in a "statistical tie" with administration candidate Leni Robredo in poll surveys leading to May 9 elections.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Voting unanimously, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided to defer any action to the request for systems audit of vice presidential aspirant Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista cited three reasons for this, among them the ongoing canvassing of votes for president and vice president in Congress.

“We have reservations since canvassing has already begun in Congress, which also has the mandate to proclaim the winning president and vice president. So, what could be its effect if we allow this audit by a particular candidate,” he said in a forum in Manila.

“There are also these criminal complaints versus Smartmatic and Comelec. What could happen if they find anything during the audit? Will they use it as evidence?” added Bautista.

READ MORE...

The poll chief said they also gave political parties, which include the camp of Marcos, enough opportunity to scrutinize the 2016 automated election system (AES) referring to the source code review that was conducted seven months before the May 9 polls.

“All parties and candidates and civil society organizations have been given enough time to audit and review the systems to be used since last October. So it cannot be said that we did not open the process to stakeholders,” said Bautista.

Still, the poll chief said since they are also for transparency, they are open to a systems audit to be conducted by a third party such as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

“We are open to a disinterested, non-partisan group to conduct the systems audit. If they want to do so, we are open to it,” said Bautista.

Asked until when they will defer their action on the request, the poll chief said “until the completion of the canvassing of votes for president and vice president and the conclusion of the criminal cases.”

--------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Groups protest Marcos's supposed attempts to cast doubt on polls 1 Share Jonathan de Santos - May 25, 2016 - 3:15pm


Protesters gather outside the House of Representatives in Quezon City on May 25, 2016 to rail against the supposed attempt of Sen. Bongbong Marcos to cast doubt on the credibility of the May 9 elections. Philstar.com / Efigenio Toledo IV

 MANILA, Philippines — Activist groups on Wednesday held a rally outside the House of Representatives to protest what they called an attempt by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to discredit the May 9 elections.

"Narito kami upang iprotesta ang ginagawang panlilinlang ni Bongbong Marcos sa publiko ukol sa naganap na halalan. He is determined to discredit the process even when the quick count has been open and transparent to the public from the start," Akbayan Youth leader Rafaela David said.

The groups called on the public to be vigilant as canvassing begins in Congress.

"Tingnan po natin ang facts at huwag po tayo magpadala sa haka-haka lamang," David said.

Akbayan is allied with the Liberal Party, with Senator-Elect Rissa Hontiveros running in the administration ticket in the the May elections.

Also at the protest were the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines and UP Bukluran System.

Ibalik and Bilyones ng mga Mamamayan movement, which filed a plunder complaint against Marcos in April over his alleged involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam, also had members at the rally.

Marcos has been raising doubts about the elections over a script change done on the Transparency server on the evening of May 9.

The script change, which tech provider Smartmatic has said was to make the "ñ" character display correctly, coincided with the decrease in Marcos's lead in the vice presidential race, his camp said.

Two professors came out shortly after to claim that the movement of election data on the transparency server after the change suggested cheating.

Their claims have since been debunked by more than 100 scientists and faculty members who work with data and statistics.

In a statement released Tuesday night, the scientists said the data did not prove cheating and was expected because voting data came in from all over the country.

The Parish Pastoral Council on Responsible Voting and the National Citizen's Movement for Free Elections have also said that the integrity of the election data is intact.

Referencing massive cheating in the 1986 snap elections that led to the People Power revolution, David said it is the Marcos family that has a history of cheating in elections.

"Sa mata nila, sila ang dapat panalo at lahat ay gagawin nila upang mangyar ito," she said.

A group of Marcos supporters held a separate rally outside the Batasan Pambansa Complex, where the House of Representatives is. — Video by Efigenio Toledo IV


MANILA STANDARD

Vigilance urged to protect vote
Marcos questions results in Senate privilege speech posted May 24, 2016 at 12:01 am by Macon Ramos-Araneta, Christine F. Herrera and Sara Susanne Fabunan


Call for vigilance. Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his privilege speech during Monday’s resumption of sessions at the Senate in Pasay City. EY ACASIO

VICE presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. urged Filipinos Monday to observe “eternal vigilance” to protect the sanctity of their votes as he took to task the Commission on Elections [Comelec] for turning a blind eye to the massive cheating that marred the May 9 elections.

“What is at stake today is the sanctity of suffrage, which great leaders teach us must be guarded at every turn,” Marcos said in a privilege speech Monday. “Many attribute the phrase: ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’ to Thomas Jefferson. This is so very true.”

Without naming him, Marcos also took a swipe at President Benigno Aquino III, who had declared before the elections that he would do all in his power to stop Marcos from winning the vice presidency.

“We need leaders who are less interested in promoting their own interest, and their own party, and more interested in leaving behind the enduring example of free and fair elections,” said Marcos.

He said his call for eternal vigilance was not about him being cheated in the vice presidential race, but concerned all voters.

“We must, all of us, guard against coming intimidation, manipulation and even fraud by forces of the political status quo,” the senator said. This was truer today than it was two weeks ago, he added.

“This odious legacy of this government and the allegations surrounding it cannot be left investigated. Evidence cannot be left unreviewed. And truth cannot be left unspoken…Because truth is the lifeblood of eternal vigilance,” said Marcos

READ MORE...

He told his colleagues in the Senate not to hold “false confidence” that the nation had free and fair elections if it did not.

“As captured by netizens through photos and videos, we see the same sad story in the Philippines. Vote-buying has become ever more rampant, as have been the acts of terrorism, threats and intimidation,” said Marcos.

Marcos said they have received reports of information and communications technology (ICT) companies that were engaged by candidates to boost their chances in winning the automated elections.

He said parts of the package included access to official voters database and vaunted “magic laptops,” which they claimed could tap into the Comelec’s main server.

Marcos said he played down all the alleged offers as being hearsay until he saw it happening before his own eyes on Election Day.

He recounted that at 7:30 p.m. on May 9, Smartmatic’s Marlon Garcia, a Venezuelan national, admitted entering a new “script” or computer command in the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting transparency server.


MAY 13 NEWS REPORT -Smartmatic project manager Marlon Garcia holds the flash drive containing the hash code that was introduced to the election transparency server that allowed for the ‘ñ’ character to be used. During a press briefing at the PICC yesterday, Smartmatic insisted the script in no way affected the vote tallies. EDD GUMBAN -PHILSTAR HEADLINE NEWS AND PHOTO

He pointed out that Garcia was earlier charged with electoral sabotage for doing the very same thing during the 2013 elections.

“Note that this change was done not before the elections, not when they were doing the pre-testing, but during the transmission of results from our canvassing boards nationwide,” Marcos said.

After this particular act, Marcos said, his votes slowed down and the votes for another candidate started to accelerate—at an unprecedented and linear rate of 45,000 votes for every additional one percent of votes counted.

“What are the chances that this computer programming change can be linked to the odd pattern that emerged during the PPCRV quick-count? How sure are we that the computer change did not open windows of opportunity for trap doors, trojan horses, worms, or time-bombs to enter the system?” asked Marcos.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista claimed the programming change in the transparency server was just a “cosmetic change,” and that it did not affect the elections results.


BAUTISTA

“What proof do we have of this? We have not seen any,” said Marcos, who slammed the poll body for its inaction despite proof of cheating.

“Every day netizens post new photos and videos of election fraud. Police found thousands of pre-shaded ballots in an abandoned warehouse in Alaminos, Pangasinfan. Unused SD cards were found in a trash can in Kabangkalan, Negros Occidental. There is video of election fraud in Datu Ampatuan, Maguindanao. And yet, Comelec has done nothing. They would rather concentrate on immediate proclamation in the hope that the uproar will die down soon after,” he said.

In the same speech, he urged Congress to immediately proclaim presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, but aired his strong reservations in the canvassing of results of the vice presidential elections due to electoral irregularities on the two fronts—on the ground level and in the field of computer science and programming.

Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, however, said that Congress, sitting as the national board of canvassers, would not “look beyond the face of the CoCs (Certificates of Canvass)” despite allegations that some of these may have been tampered.

Questions about the COCs would merely be noted, Gonzales said, as lawmakers are set to proclaim the president and vice president on June 7, or three days before Congress adjourns.

Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon, poll watchdog Mata sa Balota and the Marcos camp urged Congress on Monday to investigate the irregularities that occurred in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, before it begins the national canvass.

Ridon specifically wanted Congress to order an investigation into reports that some 30 consolidated counting servers used to generate official CoCs had been shipped to warehouse in Sta. Rosa, Laguna on May 9 and “fixed” to rig the election results.

“Congress should not ignore this report that came out in The Standard. The veracity of the account should be ascertained, and the 30 servers in question should be subjected to an independent forensic examination, even before both chambers of Congress begin the national canvassing this Wednesday,” Ridon said.

Asked what the national board of canvassers would do if the results of the official CoCs failed to match with the electronically transmitted votes, Drilon said: “I don’t want to preempt. There are rules on that. I would like to emphasize this: We cannot look beyond the face of the CoCs.”

So as not to delay the proceedings, Gonzales said the canvassers would give priority to uncontested CoCs.

George Garcia, counsel for Marcos, demanded that the Commission on Elections make public what transpired on May 9 at the National Technical Support Center in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where the CCS were allegedly brought for fixing after these failed to boot.

“We hope the Comelec will make public the list of provincial CCS or whatever CCS which were brought to Laguna for alleged repair due to non transmission or failure to receive transmission. A satisfactory explanation as to why and how is strongly urged,” Garcia said.

“This is one of those instances casting doubt on the purity of the recently concluded elections. The Filipino people deserve to know,” he added.

Mata sa Balota convener Rodolfo Javellana Jr. urged the IT experts, who were based in the NTSC, to come out in the open and reveal the truth.

The Mata sa Balota vowed to file more charges against the officials of Comelec, Smartmatic and poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting for allegedly not ensuring the conduct of elections would be honest, clean and transparent.

Bautista said the poll body would investigate the allegations about the servers, but also cast doubt on the credibility of The Standard because it was owned by the Romualdezes.


Comelec creates subcommittee to check accuracy of votes received GOOGLE.COM SEARCH

In a radio interview, Bautista admitted that he had yet to read the report published in The Standard, but warned the public to be discerning against some media outlets that release unverified claims of election cheating.

“These newspapers, look at who owns them. Because sometimes, their coverage of the news is slanted,” Bautista said in Filipino on radio dzMM.

He then asked several groups who were claiming of election cheating to provide evidence of irregularities and rigging.

He said they were hearing reports of poll cheating, but no one was able to prove the allegations.

“We are open to whatever evidence or proof that shows there was actual cheating. It is easy to make allegations, but every time we ask for evidence, that’s where they are lacking,” Bautista said.

On Monday, The Standard reported that IT experts hired by the Aquino administration said 30 consolidated counting servers that tabulated results to generate official CoCs were shipped to a Comelec warehouse in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, to be “fixed.”

The IT experts said some 2.65-million votes were generated for four contested provinces, including the vote-rich Davao del Sur and Pangasinan.

Bautista had refused to comment on the story to reporters covering the Comelec, but opted to be interviewed on the radio program.

Also on Monday, the Marcos camp said it would file criminal cases against Smartmatic executives and an IT representative of the Comelec in connection with the unauthorized change of the script in the transparency server on the evening of May 9.

Jose Amor Amorado, Marcos’ lawyer, said the respondents would be charged with violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The respondents are Smartmatic executive Marlon Garcia and project director Elie Moreno; Neil Banigued, a member of the firm’s technical support team, and Rouie Peñalba, Comelec information technology officer.

Amorado said the law makes punishable offenses that affect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems including “illegal access of any part of a computer system without right.”

He said they have enough evidence to pin down the Smartmatic executives and the Comelec IT representative based on public documents and the pronouncement by no less than the Comelec that their interference in the system was not authorized.

“It is res ipsa loquitor—the thing speaks for itself,” Amorado said.

Earlier, Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz filed a complaint against the respondents for violation of the Automated Election Law. With Joel E. Zurbano


MANILA STANDARD

Cybercrime raps filed vs comelec
posted May 25, 2016 at 12:01 am by Macon Ramos-Araneta, Christine F. Herrera, Maricel V. Cruz, and Sara Susanne D. Fabunan


Case filed. Abakada Party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz and lawyer Jose Amorado file a case against Smartmatic and Comelec IT personnel for alleged violation of the cyber crime law at the Manila City Hall on Tuesday. DANNY PATA

THE camp of vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. filed charges Tuesday against Smartmatic and Commission on Elections personnel, accusing them of violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act by illegally changing the program used by the transparency server on the night of the elections.

Charged were Smartmatic personnel Marlon Garcia, a Venezuelan national and head of the Technical Support Team; Elie Moreno, an Israeli national and project director and Neil Banigued and Mauricio Herrera, members of the Technical Support Team; and Comelec IT experts led by Rouie Peñalba, Nelson Herrera and Frances Mae Gonzalez.

The complaint was filed by Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, Marcos’ campaign advisor.

Accompanied by lawyer Jose Amor Amorado, head of Marcos’ Quick Count Center, Dela Cruz said the group clearly violated Section 4 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act by intentionally altering computer data, without right and altering and interfering with the functioning of a computer and computer network by inputting, deleting and altering computer data and program, without right or authority.

Dela Cruz pointed out that respondents were tasked to ensure the credibility of the elections by manning the transparency server at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center Building in Manila. No other personnel is allowed in the transparency server except the Comelec, through its IT Department.

Despite such rules, Dela Cruz said respondents entered the room with the transparency server and changed the script without authorization on the night of the elections when transmissions were in full swing.

He said the server could not have been accessed without the consent of the Comelec IT personnel because they had the other password to open it.

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Interviewed after the filing of the charges, Amorado said all the respondents were present when the script was changed by Smartmatic personnel.

He said the Comelec’s declaration that they did not authorize Smartmatic to change the script was a matter of defense because they had the other password.

“How then was Smartmatic able to open the server without getting the Comelec password? Their presence there constituted implicit consent to the change,” Amorado said.

Dela Cruz said by their act, the respondents committed a security breach in the automated election system (AES), particularly in the transparency server, thereby compromising the integrity and credibility of the 2016 elections, and the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems.

The violation is punishable by imprisonment of from six years to 12 years.

Dela Cruz added that they discovered the unauthorized intrusion exactly 24 hours later on the evening of May 10, when representatives of the United Nationalist Alliance and Nationalist People’s Coalition reported that the hash codes had been changed—which indicates that the program running on the server had been alterred.

They then went to the transparency server and after a short investigation, Mauricio Herrera told them that they had changed the script to change the “?” in some names to the “ñ” character.

Dela Cruz pointed out that the unauthorized change was confirmed by Peñalba and Moreno in several official pronouncements.

Dela Cruz also pointed out that several Comelec commissioners also confirmed that the change was illicit and unauthorized.

“Indeed, the act of ‘tweaking’ the script of the transparency server caused widespread anxiety and concern.... The lapses in protocol have undermined the credibility and integrity of the 2016 elections including the confidentiality, integrity and availability afforded to computer data and systems,” he said.

He further stated that the defense of cosmetic change will not exculpate the respondents because of the nature and description of the offense. He said it is enough that the change was made without authority.

“From the above premises, respondents have committed a breach in the AES that violated the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the computer data and systems thereof,” he said.

Earlier, Dela Cruz also filed a criminal complaint for violation of the Automated Election Law before the Comelec.

Charged were Garcia, Moreno, Banigued and Peñalba for their authorized script change in the transparency server.


 

Marcos camp on case filed: ‘It’s not about cheating’ 'Whatever you do, insert, or manipulate in the system, whether it affects the results or not, is a violation' of the Automated Election Law, says Jonathan dela Cruz

Patty Pasion @pattypasion Published 6:42 PM, May 20, 2016 Updated 9:33 PM, May 20, 2016 2 2K Twitter Reddit Email 2K SECOND ONE. Representatives of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr files another complaint before the Comelec on Friday, May 20. Photo by Patty Pasion / Rappler

SECOND ONE. Representatives of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr files another complaint before the Comelec on Friday, May 20. Photo by Patty Pasion / Rappler

Marcos on Tuesday vowed to seek the exclusion of Certificates of Canvass in the vice presidential canvass in areas with evidence of irregularities, but called for the immediate proclamation of the winning candidate for president, Rodrigo Duterte.

Marcos said while he has “serious reservations” on the canvassing of votes for the vice presidential race, Duterte should be proclaimed immediately.

“I propose the immediate proclamation of our presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte, being the clear and uncontested winner in the presidential elections,” Marcos said.

“Again, I offer him my sincere congratulations and my hand in partnership for the future. Mr. President, the Philippines now looks to you for your leadership and vision,” Marcos said in a privilege speech.

Marcos made the assertion even as the joint committee of the National Board of Canvassers comprised of senators and congressmen agreed to carry the provision introduced by the Senate that the NBC would “not look beyond the face of the CoC.”

The joint session of Congress on Tuesday approved the rules that would govern the canvassing that begins at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Under the rules, both houses of Congress agreed that all electoral protests to be raised by presidential and vice presidential candidates would be immediately referred to the Supreme Court under the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

But Marcos asserted there were areas where electoral irregularities had transpired and that these CoCs must be examined first before they get canvassed.

“I think there were areas where we need to examine [the CC’s] first before being included in the canvassing. It depends on the area; there were places where there were no problems at all,” Marcos said.

In the official canvassing of votes for the vice presidency, several irregularities were observed, he said.

Because of this, he said his camp would move to exclude from the official canvassing of votes the CoCs of areas where there were evidence or strong indications of poll irregularities.

He said most of these areas where poll irregularities occurred were in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Marcos also cited the reports on thousands of pre-shaded ballots in an abandoned warehouse in Pangasinan, SD cards found in a trash can in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental, as well as a video of election fraud in Datu Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

He also brought up the unauthorized introduction of a new script in the transparency server used for the unofficial tally, and how his one million-vote lead vanished within hours after the program was uploaded.

In a privilege speech on Monday, Marcos said he has “serious reservations” on the canvassing of the votes for the vice presidential race, citing reports and evidence of various irregularities that put a cloud of doubt on the integrity of the results of the polls.

He noted that Smartmatic’s Garcia had been charged with electoral sabotage for doing the very same thing during the 2013 elections.

Marcos also said that while Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista claimed this results was merely ‘cosmetic,’ this assurance should not be taken “as gospel truth.”

“We should not accept on mere blind faith the representations of the contractor and the reflected data on their machines. The burden of proof should be upon them, and Comelec as well, that the integrity of the system was not compromised. Comelec should not allow that the secrecy of the ballot be turned into the secrecy of the vote count,” he said.

He lamented that so far, the Comelec has yet to reply on his request to allow the servers to undergo audit by his own IT experts.

Quoting a computer expert, Marcos said: “Any time a computer program is changed, it can change things you don’t see.”

Marcos said his camp has gathered evidence on other forms of cheating such as vote-buying, intimidation and other acts to deny voters their right to vote but these would be raised in the proper time and the proper forum.

Because of these controversies, cross-accusations and confusion, Marcos said there should be eternal vigilance to ensure a fair and free election.

In a joint session at the Batasan Pambansa, House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II said controversy over the changing of the script could delay Duterte’s proclamation because Congress has to proclaim the winning president and vice president at the same time.

While Duterte won by a landslide, the vice presidential race has been close, with Marcos questioning the 200,000-vote advantage of Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo in the unofficial count.

“We have similar COCs to be used and what is good for the presidential race will also apply to the vice presidential contest,” Gonzales, head of the 7-man House contingent to National Board of Cavassers, said.

“Never been in the history of congressional canvass in the last three presidential elections that the winning presidential and vice presidential candidates have been proclaimed separately,” he added.

On Tuesday morning, military trucks delivered 129 ballot boxes with COCs and 499 boxes containing election results.

Legislative Security Bureau Executive Director Col. Isabelito Flores said the ballot boxes were stored in a room beside the Plenary Hall.

Aside from these ballot boxes, 58 pouches containing CoCs were received.

The official canvassing of votes is expected to begin Wednesday, where a tally board for the presidential and vice presidential election results was also placed near the entrance of the Plenary Hall.

The consolidated canvassing system (CCS) which has received the electronically-transmitted COCs from provincial and city boards of canvassers, as well as special canvassing panels for overseas absentee voting, has been initialized and stored in the venue since May 9.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said Tuesday the en banc failed to act on Marcos’ request for a system audit of the transprency server and the central server.

“We did not decide on it today (Tuesday). We have no decision. We have no response on that,” Guanzon said after the weekly meeting.

Earlier, Bautista said the commission en banc would deliberate on Marcos’ request to open the automated election system to a team of IT experts who would perform an audit under the supervision of the Comelec.

Marcos said the systems audit is aimed at determining whether other changes in the system have been introduced or whether a different program has been loaded in thetTransparency server.

Guanzon said she is in favor of having a third party audit to ensure that the process is impartial.

“It should be an IT expert that is not affiliated with any political party or candidate... preferably, it should be identified by the DOST, or it can even be the DOST,” Guanzon said, referring to the Department of Science and Technology.

The Senate and the House of Representatives on Monday convened in a joint session to fulfill their function as members of the National Board of Canvassers to tally the votes for president and vice president.

During the first day, senators and congressmen agreed on rules that will govern the rules on canvassing with 14 senators and 181 House members in attendance.

Senate Minority leader Vicente Sotto III proposed that Sec. 10 of the rules be amended by inserting the phrase: “Any issue involving the position of president and vice president maybe decided separately.”

The amendment, Sotto said, was intended to avoid the possibility of delay in proclaiming the winners either for the president and the vice president. – With Joel E. Zurbano


GMA NEWS ONLINE

Robredo accuses Marcos camp of calling for ‘people power’ to protest proclamation Published May 25, 2016 10:58am Updated May 25, 2016 3:35pm By JOSEPH TRISTAN ROXAS, GMA News

 
ROBREDO

Leading vice-presidential candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo on Wednesday expressed concern about reports that the camp of her closest rival, Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., is calling for "people power" to protest her possible proclamation.

"Kagaya kahapon na may nagpadala sa atin ng videos at pictures na umiikot karamihan sa mga informal settlers na sites na nag-e-encourage ng people power at nagsasabi na sila yung panalo," Robredo claimed during a press conference in Quezon City.

GMA News Online is seeking comment from the Marcos camp about Robredo's comment as of posting time.

Marcos is the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. who was ousted from Malacañang in 1986 by a people power revolt.

The uprising installed into power former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, mother of incumbent President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

Former president Marcos, who died while on exile in Hawaii in 1989, was accused of committing human rights abuses and siphoning off some $10 billion from state coffers during his two-decade rule from 1965 to 1986.

Still confident

Meanwhile, Robredo remains confident that she will be proclaimed vice president.

"Confident naman ako na kung ano yung katotohanan yun ang lalabas... Parang nakakalungkot lang na parang tine-take advantage yung hindi pagkaalam ng tao para paniwalaan yung isang kasinungalingan," Robredo said.

"Yung sa akin lahat naman tayo may karapatang magpahayag ng ating gustong ipahayag. Basta sana yung totoo lang kasi ang nabibiktima nito hindi naman ako. Ang nabibiktima ang mga tao kaya sana matigil na," she added.

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Robredo said she is looking forward to working on her programs before she formally takes office and hopes the canvassing of votes in Congress will go smoothly.

"Yung resulta ng eleksyon alam na nating lahat, nabilang na ng Comelec yung boto. Sana lang tuloy-tuloy na sa canvass kasi marami na tayong kailangan harapin na trabaho," Robredo said.

Robredo's spokesperson Georgina Hernandez said in a radio interview that based on their copies of the certificates of canvass, their candidate will win the vice presidential election with a margin of 262,000 votes over Marcos.

"Itong kalamangan na ito ay pareho dapat ang lalabas sa ating canvassing dahil iyong basehan po ng Certificate of Canvass ay siya ring parehong dokumentong pagbabasehan sa ating canvassing ng Cational Board of Canvassers," she said.

The camp of Marcos, meanwhile, claimed that the senator will win the vice presidential election with a lead of at least 100,000 votes.

The National Board of Canvassers, which proclaims the winning candidates for president and vice president, will start canvassing bt 2 p.m. Wednesday.

It had dismissed a petition by the camp of Marcos to separately count votes for president and vice president.

At the same press conference, Robredo's election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said Marcos' camp should have raised their concerns on the canvassing at the local level.

"Congress cannot investigate. It's not within their powers... They cannot make any inquiry into the alleged irregularities. Ang function nila is limited on the certificates of canvass," Macalintal said.

Call for people power 'baseless'

Meanwhile, Macalintal said the supposed call for people power will most likely not prosper as he claimed that Robredo did receive more votes in the first place.

“Makakaasa kayo na walang dahilan para magkaroon ng people power. Walang dahilan para sabihin na magagalit ang taong bayan kasi mas marami ang bumoto kay Ms. Robredo,” Macalintal said.

Macalintal said Marcos should present evidence to support his claim about alleged election irregularities.

“Siya mismo ang nagsabi 'hindi po ko natitiyak kung naapektuhan ang vice president o ang buong kandidato'. Wala siyang ebidensya sa mga sinasabing pandaraya kaya walang people power na mangyayari dahil mas marani ang bumoto si Ms. Robredo,” Macalintal said.

De Lime, meanwhile, said the supposed call for people power was “plain and simple psy war para sa akin.” —VVP/ALG, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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