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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

AQUINO REACHES OUT TO DUTERTE (VIA MR. BONG GO)
[RELATED: ‘It’ll be lonely at the top’ But if you’re focused, have trust in God
you’ll get to where you want, Aquino tells Duterte]


MAY 12 -President Aquino and Presidential Front runner/Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (MB File)
President Aquino and Presidential Front runner/Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (MB File) With the emergence of the victor in the presidential elections, the transfer of power will begin very soon. President Aquino has finally reached out to his successor, Rodrigo Duterte, and pledged a “smoothest transition possible” to the next administration. The President has contacted the camp of Duterte and informed them that Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa would be assigned to lead the team that will ensure the transition would proceed without glitches. “I talked to Mr. Bong Go yesterday (last Tuesday) to relay to Mayor Duterte that an Administrative Order (AO) is being drafted designating the Executive Secretary as head of the transition team,” Aquino said in a statement. “I further offered that the Cabinet stands ready to brief his team on any and all of their concerns. Lastly we are committed to effecting the smoothest transition possible,” Aquino added. Duterte, the 71-year-old candidate known his profanity-laced speeches, is the presumptive winner of the presidential elections with more than 15 million votes cast based on partial and unofficial count. The country’s next president, who has promised to kill criminals and rewrite the Constitution to shift to federal system of government, will formally assume office on June 30. An inauguration ceremony of the new leader will be held that day. After pulling out all the stops to dissuade voters from electing Duterte due to his dictatorial tendency and unclear platform, the President has accepted the elections results showing the resounding victory of Duterte. Aquino also set aside political differences and offered to cooperate with the incoming administration. FULL REPORT, RELATED  ‘It’ll be lonely at the top’ But if you’re focused, have trust in God you’ll get to where you want, Aquino tells Duterte ...

ALSO: Comelec server ‘rigged for Leni’ - PPCRV denies security breach to defeat Marcos
[RELATED: Senate bets join ‘rigging’ protest]


MAY 12 -Against cheating. Members of the election watchdog group Kontra Daya hold a rally outside the Philippine International Convention Center, where the national canvassing of election results is ongoing. DANNY PATA
THE transparency server from which the partial and unofficial count of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting had been breached and gave out corrupted results favoring administration vice presidential bet Leni Robredo, the camp of vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Wednesday. For this reason, lawyers for the Marcos camp have demanded a stop to the PPCRV count so as not to sow confusion and mislead the public. “We received the unsettling information that at past 7:30 p.m. on 9 May 2016, Election Day, a new script or computer command was introduced to the transparency server—the very same server from which the PPCRV obtains its data for the quick count. Apparently, the execution of this computer command was able to alter the hash codes of the packet data,” said lawyer Francesca Huang, a member of Marcos’ legal team, during a press conference Wednesday. Against cheating. Members of the election watchdog group Kontra Daya hold a rally outside the Philippine International Convention Center, where the national canvassing of election results is ongoing. DANNY PATA Huang explained the introduction of this new script was “suspect” as it was after this time that Marcos’ lead over Robredo started to erode in a distinctive pattern. PPCRV’s Henrietta de Villa immediately denied there was a breach and insisted the transparency server was “safe and secure.”  “We have received no report from our IT group of such a breach. No official report or complaint was given to us. Our security is safe. There is no breach,” De Villa told The Standard. “The partial and unofficial quick-count of the PPCRV is telling us that more than 95 percent of the clustered precincts have transmitted election returns to the transparency server. This quick count showed us that Senator Marcos’ substantial lead in the votes began to erode about 9 p.m. of 9 May 2016, and that Representative Robredo maintained her lead since around 3 a.m. of 10 May 2016,” Huang said. The Marcos camp manifested its continuing reservations about the PPCRV quick count. READ MORE...RELATED, Senate bets join ‘rigging’ protest...

ALSO: Robredo assured of Cabinet post if she wins VP race – Duterte spokesperson


MAY 12 -ROBREDO
The camp of Davao City Mayor and presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte said vice presidential candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo is guaranteed a seat in the next administration’s Cabinet. “Aside from being VP she will be offered a cabinet post,” Peter Laviña told GMA News Online on Wednesday. According to Section 3, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. The vice president “may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet.” Meaning, there is no guarantee that a spot will be given. Robredo belongs to the administration Liberal Party (LP). She paired up with former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in the elections. Roxas, Duterte’s old friend turned staunch rival during the past few weeks, already conceded on Tuesday after partial and unofficial results showed that the Davao City Mayor leads by a margin of around six million votes. However, it is not yet over in the vice presidential race. As of 12:45 p.m., Robredo leads with 13,968,994 votes while her rival and the initial front runner Senator Bongbong Marcos got 13,743,732. The Marcos camp claimed that the results have been rigged in favor of Robredo. Laviña said the irregularities reported should be taken into consideration to “clear away any doubt as to the outcome of the polling.” “We leave it to Comelec [Commission on Elections] to do its job. But we call on everyone to be vigilant to ensure the expressed will of the electorate is upheld in the tabulation of the votes,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino on elections - Accept whoever wins


MAY 8 -EVE OF ELECTIONS. President Benigno Aquino III calls for clean, orderly elections on the eve of polling. Photo courtesy of Malacañang
'In a democracy, everyone can decide. In the end, after the elections, hopefully the bickering will end,' says President Benigno Aquino III MANILA, Philippines – On the eve of the country's tightly contested elections, President Benigno Aquino III called on Filipinos to ensure peaceful polls and to accept the outcome, whatever it may be. The President made the appeal in a statement on Sunday, May 8, a day before millions of Filipinos cast their ballots for national and local posts. (READ: Guide to the 2016 Philippine elections) "Let us show the whole world that regardless of our deep emotions and conviction regarding our candidate, we can hold elections that are peaceful, orderly, and truly mirror the spirit of democracy," Aquino said in Filipino. "Let me stress: In a democracy, everyone can decide. In the end, after the elections, hopefully the bickering will end. Let us respect and understand any decision borne out of the collective voice of the majority." As with any election, mudslinging and heated exchanges have been par for the course. In recent weeks, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been on the receiving end of new allegations about supposed hidden wealth, following his rise in voters' preference surveys. Aquino himself revealed on Friday, May 6, that he asked his anointed bet, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II, as well as Senator Grace Poe, to forge an alliance against Duterte. READ MORE...

ALSO: Comelec creates audit body for official count


MAY 15 -THE Commission on Elections will create a subcommittee to audit the official count of votes cast in the May 9 elections to dispel doubts of cheating, Comelec Commissioner Arthur Lim said Saturday.
Lim said the commission decided to create a subcommittees to compare the hard printed copies as delivered by the provincial election supervisors and the generated certificates of canvass as well as the statement of votes per municipality. “This is to determine if any municipality has been omitted from the certificate of canvass,” Lim said, adding that the subcommittee will start auditing everything today, Sunday. “The parties will be given the opportunity to review the printed COCs as against the hard copies of the COCs, and the statement of votes per municipalities,” Lim said. Aside from the subcommittee, the Comelec will do a manual tabulation for the purpose of generating the certificate of canvass for the positions of senator and party-list congressman. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Aquino reaches out to Duterte


President Aquino and Presidential Front runner/Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (MB File)

MANILA, MAY 16, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Genalyn Kabiling May 11, 2016 -With the emergence of the victor in the presidential elections, the transfer of power will begin very soon.

President Aquino has finally reached out to his successor, Rodrigo Duterte, and pledged a “smoothest transition possible” to the next administration. The President has contacted the camp of Duterte and informed them that Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa would be assigned to lead the team that will ensure the transition would proceed without glitches. “I talked to Mr. Bong Go yesterday (last Tuesday) to relay to Mayor Duterte that an Administrative Order (AO) is being drafted designating the Executive Secretary as head of the transition team,” Aquino said in a statement. “I further offered that the Cabinet stands ready to brief his team on any and all of their concerns.

Lastly we are committed to effecting the smoothest transition possible,” Aquino added.

Duterte, the 71-year-old candidate known his profanity-laced speeches, is the presumptive winner of the presidential elections with more than 15 million votes cast based on partial and unofficial count.

The country’s next president, who has promised to kill criminals and rewrite the Constitution to shift to federal system of government, will formally assume office on June 30. An inauguration ceremony of the new leader will be held that day.

After pulling out all the stops to dissuade voters from electing Duterte due to his dictatorial tendency and unclear platform, the President has accepted the elections results showing the resounding victory of Duterte.

Aquino also set aside political differences and offered to cooperate with the incoming administration.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

‘It’ll be lonely at the top’ But if you’re focused, have trust in God you’ll get to where you want, Aquino tells Duterte by Genalyn Kabiling May 13, 2016 (updated) Share2 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share20

I

t will be lonely and challenging at the top but President Aquino promised to give his successor, presumptive president Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte a “leg up” and advised him to always trust the Lord and do what is right for the people.

“You will feel more and more alone the longer you’re there. You will have more and more complex problems that have to be dealt with, and the public will say ‘yesterday,’” Aquino said in a recent interview with CNN Philippines when asked about his advice to his successor.

“But at the end of the day, I guess if you are focused on our people and you have trust in God, you follow your instincts, you will get to where you want to go,” Aquino added.

Duterte, the 71-year-old tough talking mayor of Davao City, is set to clinch the presidency after earning more than 15 million votes in the recent elections.

Duterte’s resounding victory comes even after the President’s staunch campaign against his supposed dictatorial tendency and unclear campaign platform. Aquino, however, has accepted the election results, saying the voice of the people must be respected.

In the CNN interview aired last May 11, the President also pledged an orderly and effective transition to the next administration that includes briefing them about the state of national affairs as well as helping out in the inaugural preparations.

“Part of the peaceful transfer of power is to say, ‘Look, these are the things we have done, the idea is this, these are the components that still have to be done, these are things to look out and watch out (for) in (the) coming months, in (the) coming years,’ assuming they are predisposed to listening to us,” Aquino said.

“When we get there, that’s a very important ceremony for the State, that there is that transition in power. We will ensure everything in our power to make it a memorable event, that it gives the incoming administration that leg up as they start governance,” he added.

Duterte, the firebrand politician who promised a strong anti-crime drive and Charter change on economic provisions, will formally take over the reins of Malacañang by noon of June 30. The camp of Duterte earlier said the inauguration ceremony would be simple and frugal.

Aquino acknowledged that the incoming leader has preferences on where and how the inaugural ceremony will be conducted.

The President earlier created a seven-man committee to effect the “peaceful, orderly and effective transition” of power next month.

The Presidential Transition Committee (PTC) led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa was scheduled to hold its first meeting on Friday in Malacañang.

The transition committee, created by the President via Administrative Order No. 49, includes National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Emmanuel Esguerra, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson and Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

Under AO 49, the transition committee will serve as the overall and central coordination committee of all government agencies as regards the various aspects of the transition to the new administration.

It will also oversee preparation and implementation of the government agencies’ transition to the new administration to ensure continuity and maintain the efficiency of government services.

All government agencies have also been directed to establish their respective Agency Transition Committees (ATCs) that will be chaired by the head of the agency.


MANILA STANDARD

Comelec server ‘rigged for Leni’ PPCRV denies security breach to defeat Marcos posted May 12, 2016 at 12:01 am by Christine F. Herrera and Joel E. Zurbano


Against cheating. Members of the election watchdog group Kontra Daya hold a rally outside the Philippine International Convention Center, where the national canvassing of election results is ongoing. DANNY PATA

THE transparency server from which the partial and unofficial count of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting had been breached and gave out corrupted results favoring administration vice presidential bet Leni Robredo, the camp of vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Wednesday.

For this reason, lawyers for the Marcos camp have demanded a stop to the PPCRV count so as not to sow confusion and mislead the public.

“We received the unsettling information that at past 7:30 p.m. on 9 May 2016, Election Day, a new script or computer command was introduced to the transparency server—the very same server from which the PPCRV obtains its data for the quick count. Apparently, the execution of this computer command was able to alter the hash codes of the packet data,” said lawyer Francesca Huang, a member of Marcos’ legal team, during a press conference Wednesday.

Against cheating. Members of the election watchdog group Kontra Daya hold a rally outside the Philippine International Convention Center, where the national canvassing of election results is ongoing. DANNY PATA Huang explained the introduction of this new script was “suspect” as it was after this time that Marcos’ lead over Robredo started to erode in a distinctive pattern.


Ambassador. Henrietta T. de Villa -Ambassador, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting

PPCRV’s Henrietta de Villa immediately denied there was a breach and insisted the transparency server was “safe and secure.”

“We have received no report from our IT group of such a breach. No official report or complaint was given to us. Our security is safe. There is no breach,” De Villa told The Standard.

“The partial and unofficial quick-count of the PPCRV is telling us that more than 95 percent of the clustered precincts have transmitted election returns to the transparency server. This quick count showed us that Senator Marcos’ substantial lead in the votes began to erode about 9 p.m. of 9 May 2016, and that Representative Robredo maintained her lead since around 3 a.m. of 10 May 2016,” Huang said.

The Marcos camp manifested its continuing reservations about the PPCRV quick count.

READ MORE...

“We are rather perplexed as to how the PPCRV quick count reached over 95 percent of the total clustered precincts, and 100 percent in certain provinces or cities. We have confirmed that a number of clustered precincts or vote counting machines or VCMs were unable to transmit to the local board of canvassers in certain provinces or cities,” Huang said.

Marcos told his supporters and even non-supporters who want an honest election, to remain calm, but vigilant, and refrain from taking actions that would only ignite violence, hurt people, destroy property, and disturb the normal day-to-day activities of ordinary people.

‘No trending.’


BAUTISTA

Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista rejects the accusations by the camp of Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the electronically transmitted results were tweaked to benefit administration vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo. JOHN PAOLO BENCITO He said his lawyers were thoroughly monitoring and carefully studying the situation to come up with the proper legal moves.

“You can be assured that we will investigate everything and that the truth will come out,” he said in Filipino.

Marcos said that in the unofficial count shown on television, his numbers were going up since 10 p.m. Monday at a reasonable rate, but after an hour, the numbers began to decrease at a regular rate of between 1 to 2 percent every succeeding update.

“What was even more puzzling was that the drop in my lead began after Comelec had said there was a glitch that delayed the updates of the transmitted votes in the transparency server,” Marcos said.

De Villa said the PPCRV could not stop the counting because the Commission on Elections has not told them to do so despite official request from the Marcos camp.

“Yes we received their request but it is up to the Comelec to decide if they wanted us to stop. There is no word from the Comelec,” De Villa told The Standard.

“Apparently, the execution of this computer command was able to alter the hash codes of the packet data,” Huang said.

“The introduction of the new script made us believe that the results had been corrupted and it is incumbent upon the Comelec to order a stop to the partial and unofficial counting,” Marcos’ political campaign adviser Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz said.


Abakada Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/www.congress.gov.ph

But neither Huang nor Dela Cruz could expound on the hash code or the nature of the data that were allegedly altered, saying that their technical team were still closely studying the matter.

Huang and Dela Cruz said an accredited observer in the PPCRV quick count headquarters was the one who witnessed the introduction of the supposed new script.

Huang also cast doubt on the ongoing quick count of the Comelec and PPCRV, which shows that over 95 percent of votes have already been counted as of Wednesday afternoon.

Huang pointed out that several clustered precincts have yet to transmit vote results from their VCMs.

“We have always been of the understanding, as the Comelec has never indicated the contrary, that the transparency server could only receive data or election returns from the VCMs. In this regard, we are rather perplexed as to how the PPCRV quick count reached over 95 percent of the total clustered precincts, and 100 percent in certain provinces or cities,” Huang said.

“We have confirmed that a number of clustered precincts or VCMs were unable to transmit to the local board of canvassers in certain provinces or cities,” Huang said.

Huang pointed out that several clustered precincts have yet to transmit vote results from their VCMs.

Dela Cruz said after the breach, Robredo eventually took the lead over Marcos and continued to lead by more or less 200,000 votes as of Wednesday afternoon based on the partial, unofficial tally.

Huang said their camp had already sent a letter of clarification to the Commission on Elections on Wednesday afternoon to demand an explanation over the supposed incident.

“Did Comelec know about the introduction of this new script? How does the new script affect the data and data reception of the transparency server? The public deserves to find out,” Huang said.

“How were the data or election returns from these affected clustered precincts or VCMs uploaded to the transparency server? Does this mean that data could be uploaded to the transparency server through other means of which we do not know about? We hope the Comelec enlightens the public on this matter,” Huang said.

“In this hotly contested vice presidential race marred by conflicting unofficial results and even reports of irregularities, Senator Marcos calls on his supporters and the public to maintain calm and sobriety, and to await the results of the official canvass. While we await these official results, he appeals for vigilance so that, ultimately, whoever may be proclaimed as winners, the true voice of the Filipino people will prevail,” Huang said.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said they have yet to get details about Marcos’ allegation.

Dela Cruz insisted the results of the exit polls in all areas nationwide show that Marcos won the vice presidential race.

Second, he said, the overseas absentee votes have yet to be fully accounted for.

The quick-count tally so far reflects only 19 percent of these votes, he said.

“We are confident of the results in this sector because we were able to confirm that Senator Marcos garnered a significant number of votes from our overseas Filipino workers,” he said.

The introduction of the new script prompted Marcos’ presidential running mate Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago to accuse the administration of “manufacturing numbers” in a bid to mislead the people into believing a supposed last-minute surge in the popularity of administration candidate.

“The roller coaster ride of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. invites comparison with a garrison state. In such a state, the authoritarian government feels free to manufacture numbers as they are needed,” Santiago said in a statement sent to reporters.

Santiago specifically cited the sudden surge of Robredo in the poll surveys a few days before the May 9 elections.

“I find it astounding that Marcos should have led in the vice presidential surveys for many months, until the penultimate month, when suddenly the administration could jump up survey results to finally overtake him,” Santiago said.

“This is an eventuality that will cause the peoples of the democratic world to shake their heads and question the values of the society it produced,” Santiago added.


LOGO -Modern day Malacañan Palace -The Marcos family bid Malacañan Palace goodbye in the evening of February 25, 1986, a few hours after President Marcos took his oath for a six-year term before Chief Justice Ramon Aquino. Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Corazon C. Aquino decided to live in what had been the Arlegui Guest House and held office in the Premier Guest House. Her successor, President Fidel V. Ramos, also decided to live in the Arlegui Guest House but held office in the Palace. President Joseph Ejercito Estrada remodelled the Premier Guest House into a combination residence and office. In January 2001, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo returned to the Palace and made it both her residence and office. President Benigno S. Aquino III, in 2010, chose not to reside in the Palace but in Bahay Pangarap, located within Malacañang Park, and holds office in Bonifacio Hall of Malacañan Palace. SOURCE: MALACANAN PALACE WEBSITE.

The Palace denied Santiago’s allegations.

Marcos had been topping pre-election surveys of Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia for the last two months until Robredo overtook Marcos in the rankings by two percentage points in a Pulse Asia survey commissioned by ABS-CBN released on May 4.

Marcos, however, regained the lead in a Pulse Asia survey released on May 7 but only by a point from Robredo, which put the two in a statistical tie for the top spot.

Marcos on Friday last week said there is a possibility that the pre-election surveys are being manipulated to establish a fake trend as part of the administration’s plan of securing Robredo’s victory at all costs. With Joel E. Zurbano, Sandy Araneta, Vito Barcelo, Macon Ramos-Araneta

Marcos said this was in line with the administration’s plan of having the winning presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ousted through impeachment and replaced by Robredo.

On Tuesday, Marcos said the alleged “Plan B” was in full swing.

“We all know Miriam for her intelligence, integrity, independence and courage. And so when she speaks, we should listen,” Marcos said as he thanked his running mate.

Marcos maintained that the alleged manipulation of pre-election surveys is a prelude to the administration’s supposed plan of rigging the results of the elections.

“As we warned earlier, this could be part of a plot to mask efforts to rig election results,” Marcos said.

“The results of the ongoing unofficial quick count for the vice presidential race, which ran counter to independent exit polls and our internal surveys, give substance to our concern,” he said.

At the same time, Marcos urged his supporters to stay calm after calls for protests mounted over social media networks.

The PPCRV said Wednesday that at least 170 polling precincts in Region I or the Ilocos region—a Marcos bailiwick, and Region V or Bicol, Robredo’s bailiwick, have yet to transmit their votes.

In an interview, PPCRV media director Anna de Villa Singson said that 12 precincts in Ilocos Sur and 15 in in Ilocos Norte have yet to transmit their votes, while in Pangasinan, there are still 70 out of the 2,842 precincts that have not yet transmitted their vote counts.

In Bicol region, there are still 243 out of the 5,695 precincts that have not yet transmitted their votes, the PPCRV said.

Singson said that the precincts are in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Sorsogon, Robredo’s turf.

However, Singson could not give the exact number of votes expected from these precincts, and would only say that the Ilocos and Bicol regions have an equal density of voters.

The PPCRV officials aid this could change the standings of both Marcos and Robredo.

She denied that there was any plot to establish a trend to show Robredo was winning.

Also on Wednesday, the Kontra Daya watchdog group said there were five instances in Manila where voters shaded the name of Duterte on their ballots, but where the VCMs counted these for administration candidate Manuel Roxas II.

Kontra Daya said this showed that problems that have affected elections for years continue, from vote buying and disenfranchisement to malfunctioning vote counting machines.

In San Lorenzo, Bangui, Ilocos Norte, a vote for Marcos went to his rival, Senator Gregorio Honasan.

There were also three incidents where the machines did not recognize the vote for senatorial candidate and incumbent Bayan Muna Party List Rep. Neri Colmenares in Manila and Amulung, Cagayan.

Kontra Daya’s report came amid allegations by Marcos that the ruling Liberal Party is manipulating results of the elections so the Liberal Party will still have control of the Palace, once it ousts Duterte by impeachment.

Other incidents of VCMs malfunctioning dealt with rejected ballots, paper jams, overheating and machine shutdowns. With Joel E. Zurbano, Sandy Araneta, Vito Barcelo, Macon Ramos-Araneta

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RELATED FROM MANILA STANDARD

Senate bets join ‘rigging’ protest posted May 13, 2016 at 12:01 am by Christine F. Herrera


No rigging? Smartmatic general manager Elie Moreno listens as Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista fields questions about the alleged rigging of the results in the national elections held last Monday. LINO SANTOS

SENATORIAL candidates raised a howl of protest Thursday over discrepancies between the tallied votes recorded by the poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and the Commission on Elections, saying these suggested vote padding and shaving.

As the Comelec National Board of Canvassers convened, lawyers for independent senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino demanded a thorough investigation of discrepancies in the tallies of his votes from Davao del Sur, Laguna and Rizal.

Tolentino, who currently ranks 13th, objected to the canvassing of certificates of canvass from Davao del Sur and questioned the “huge” discrepancies in the tallies.

Tolentino’s election returns from the PPCRV’s transparency server reflected 435,471 votes but the CoC tabulations transmitted to the Comelec recorded only 101,333 or a difference of 334,138 votes “shaved” from the Davao del Sur results.

Tolentino’s lawyers also noted that the Davao del Sur provincial board of canvassers transmitted their CoCs four times.

In Misamis, some 100,000 votes were found missing from former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri’s tally in the PPCRV count. Zubiri now ranks 6th in the senatorial race.

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan urged Congress and Comelec to investigate immediately

the allegations of a “serious breach” in which a technician of Smartmatic inserted a new program that may have altered the hash codes of the Comelec transparency server.

This was revealed yesterday by an IT expert monitoring the PPCRV server.

A Venezuelan Smartmatic technician admitted to installing the program when confronted.

“That a foreign national can simply make alterations to the AES programming raises questions on the credibility and integrity of the whole election process. The system is not secure from tampering from within,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. said.

“There should be a thorough investigation as well on the transmission of votes that took place on May 9 and the alleged discrepancies between the figures that appeared in the Comelec’s official count and the transparency servers,” he said.

Both Comelec and Smartmatic, Reyes said, were to blame for any doubts in the results of the elections.

The camp of independent vice presidential candidate Senator Marcos on Thursday also demanded that Smartmatic and Comelec open up its “network operating system” based in Fort Bonifacio or Comelec command center to find out the extent of the tampering beyond the changing of names bearing the “letter ñ” after the hash code was “illegally” changed.

“Once you breached the security and changed the hash code of the transparency server that receives all the transmitted encrypted files, including the results and election returns, anything goes, everything is compromised, anything can be altered, even the results. They can do anything from afar without us even looking,” the IT expert accredited by the PPCRV, who witnessed the tampering, told The Standard.

Marcos’ political campaign adviser Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz chided the Comelec for playing down the serious breach as mere “lapses.”

“We want to find out what alterations have been made beyond the names of the late presidential candidate Roy Señeres and reelectionist Senator Serge Osmeña,” Dela Cruz said.

A transcript of the video and audio recording of the “confrontation” between Smartmatic and PPCRV-accredited IT experts showed the admission of the Venezuelan Smartmatic IT expert that a “new script” had to be introduced to change the erroneous names of candidates.

The Venezuelan Smartmatic IT expert said the “ñ” was inadvertently replaced with a question mark.

“The issue here is no longer whether or not the results had been altered. The issue here is the integrity of the system and our quest for truth,” Dela Cruz said.

A few hours after the breach, the IT expert who requested anonymity, said a “clogging” in the system was observed and the one million vote lead of Marcos over his closest rival Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo of the ruling Liberal Party started to narrow.

The source said the “major breach” would now compel Marcos and other senatorial candidates—Tolentino, Osmeña and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez—who ranked 13th, 14th and 15th, respectively, to question the integrity of the results and demand answers from the Comelec on how the violation of protocols could have possibly happened.

The source said all the PPCRV’s unofficial and Comelec’s official results would come only from a single source—the transparency server of the Comelec.

“The whole system has been compromised. The integrity of the results is now under question. While everybody was busy doing the counting, the Venezuelan IT expert from Smartmatic inserted a new script or a new computer program into the system around 7:30 p.m. of Monday, May 9, 2016,” the IT expert told The Standard.

The IT expert said there was no Comelec official present when the tampering of the system took place.

When confronted, the source said the Venezuelan admitted that the order to introduce a new script came from Marlon Garcia, project director of Smartmatic.

The source said the “confrontation” had been recorded on video and audio.

“The Smartmatic IT expert’s job was only to ‘receive, decrypt and distribute’ the files. Since we are also IT experts and we have been doing this since the preparation for seven months already, we knew what the Venezuelan did was something irregular. He introduced a new script, a new computer program and commands that could alter everything and supersede the existing program,” he said.

He explained that the breach was confirmed when the “hash code” that was inside the transparency server was different from the hash code brought in by the Smartmatic.

“The hash code inside the transparency server should be the same as the one to be inserted. We saw they’re different so we started to be suspicious and confronted the guy,” the source said.

But Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista played down the new script and described it as “tweaking.”

“It is true that someone from Smartmatic corrected a script—from ‘?’ to ‘ñ’,” Bautista said, but assured the public the “tweaking” would not “affect the integrity of the numbers.”

Earlier, a lawyer for Marcos, Francesca Huang, said the transparency server had been breached when a new script was introduced.

In a press conference, both the Comelec and its technical provider Smartmatic admitted that there were changes made on May 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Bautista said it was Smartmatic project manager Marlon Garcia who corrected all candidates with a “?” to “ñ”.

“He confirmed that the data has ‘?’ In the name of a candidate. He then made the necessary modification on the script and corrected the ‘?’ to an ‘ñ’ right away,” Bautista said.

Bautista denied that he was involved in the tweaking, or that he ordered Garcia to change the script.

Bautista added that the Smartmatic action was just a “cosmetic change” and that the public has nothing to worry about.

“Several candidates had names with ‘ñ’. So it would look funny for names such as Señeres and Napeñas have question marks. It was thought that it would be cleaner if changes were to be made,” the poll chief added.

Bautista also slammed accusations of cheating from the Marcos camp.

“There is no cheating whatsoever,” Bautista said while shaking his head, and maintained that the Comelec records are open to the public for scrutiny.

“If you wish to obtain records from us we will provide anything,” he said.

Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert Lim admitted that the correction by Smartmatic was a lapse in protocol. He added that there was no need to make changes if it was for “cosmetic purposes.”

“If you ask me, had I been informed ahead, I would have said no. Now, it just added more fuel to (the controversy over the elections),” he said.

Smartmatic project director Ellie Moreno said Garcia acted it in good faith.

“It is not necessary, but Garcia saw that there was something wrong in it, so in good faith he cosmetically changed it,” Moreno said.

Moreno said the change was made only in the transparency server which the PPCRV.

He also said nothing has changed as a result of the new script.

“The results of the ERs are everywhere, there 30 copies printed from every polling center, and if you got one of it, and compare it to the transparency server, it will match,” Moreno assured.

The Palace on Thursday denied allegations that the server was breached so that administration candidate for vice president Leni Robredo could defeat Marcos.

“The allegations regarding Palace involvement are untrue and unfounded,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

“Comelec is fully responsible for overseeing the automated election system and the executive branch has no part in this process,” she added.

Coloma also denied allegations made by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago that the Palace took part in cheating Marcos.

In the unofficial count, Robredo still lead Marcos by more than 200,000 votes.

Robredo on Thursday challenged the Marcos camp to support their claims of poll cheating.

“What is clear to us is that we didn’t do anything wrong. We’re not a party in any of these cases. Whatever is their accusations, they need to substantiate them,” Robredo said in a television interview over GMA 7.

“It’s unfair that they are saying that there are cheating claims, there is fraud but they don’t have any evidence or basis. They’re just conditioning the minds of the people,” Robredo said. – With Sandy Araneta, Vito Barcelo and John Paolo Bencito


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Robredo assured of Cabinet post if she wins VP race – Duterte spokesperson Published May 12, 2016 1:26am BY TRISHA MACAS, GMA News


ROBREDO

The camp of Davao City Mayor and presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte said vice presidential candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo is guaranteed a seat in the next administration’s Cabinet.

“Aside from being VP she will be offered a cabinet post,” Peter Laviña told GMA News Online on Wednesday.

According to Section 3, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. The vice president “may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet.” Meaning, there is no guarantee that a spot will be given.

Robredo belongs to the administration Liberal Party (LP). She paired up with former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in the elections.

Roxas, Duterte’s old friend turned staunch rival during the past few weeks, already conceded on Tuesday after partial and unofficial results showed that the Davao City Mayor leads by a margin of around six million votes.

However, it is not yet over in the vice presidential race. As of 12:45 p.m., Robredo leads with 13,968,994 votes while her rival and the initial front runner Senator Bongbong Marcos got 13,743,732. The Marcos camp claimed that the results have been rigged in favor of Robredo.

Laviña said the irregularities reported should be taken into consideration to “clear away any doubt as to the outcome of the polling.”

“We leave it to Comelec [Commission on Elections] to do its job. But we call on everyone to be vigilant to ensure the expressed will of the electorate is upheld in the tabulation of the votes,” he said.

READ MORE...

Marcos, during the vice presidential debate in April, reminded Duterte’s running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano that the tough-talking Davao City Mayor would hand the presidency to him (Marcos) if he cannot perform his duties. Duterte said this while campaigning in the Ilocos region, the bailiwick of the Marcoses.

But Cayetano said that it was just being playful with the Ilokano mayors and replied that he remains Duterte’s choice for the vice president post.

Asked who will work best of the two survey front runners in the vice presidential race—Marcos or Robredo—a few days before elections, Duterte picked Cayetano.

In his campaign speeches, Duterte always reminded the crowd to vote for Cayetano to make sure his vice president will not plot his demise if he wins the elections.

According to Section 8, Article VII of the Constitution the vice president will become the president in case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the president.


RAPPLER.COM

Aquino on elections: Accept whoever wins Rappler.com Published 11:45 PM, May 08, 2016 Updated 2:04 AM, May 09, 2016


EVE OF ELECTIONS. President Benigno Aquino III calls for clean, orderly elections on the eve of polling. Photo courtesy of Malacañang

'In a democracy, everyone can decide. In the end, after the elections, hopefully the bickering will end,' says President Benigno Aquino III

MANILA, Philippines – On the eve of the country's tightly contested elections, President Benigno Aquino III called on Filipinos to ensure peaceful polls and to accept the outcome, whatever it may be.

The President made the appeal in a statement on Sunday, May 8, a day before millions of Filipinos cast their ballots for national and local posts. (READ: Guide to the 2016 Philippine elections)

"Let us show the whole world that regardless of our deep emotions and conviction regarding our candidate, we can hold elections that are peaceful, orderly, and truly mirror the spirit of democracy," Aquino said in Filipino.

"Let me stress: In a democracy, everyone can decide. In the end, after the elections, hopefully the bickering will end. Let us respect and understand any decision borne out of the collective voice of the majority."

As with any election, mudslinging and heated exchanges have been par for the course. In recent weeks, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been on the receiving end of new allegations about supposed hidden wealth, following his rise in voters' preference surveys.

Aquino himself revealed on Friday, May 6, that he asked his anointed bet, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II, as well as Senator Grace Poe, to forge an alliance against Duterte.

READ MORE...

The tough-talking mayor, known for his iron-fist approach to criminality and penchant for cursing, has been likened to US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Roxas urged Poe to meet with him for talks, saying that "uncertainty and the specter of a dictatorship are looming over our country once again." Poe, however, swiftly rejected Roxas' invitation.

Duterte's camp also called the proposed alliance "the ultimate insult to the Filipino people," while the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay dismissed it as well. Binay's spokesperson pointed out that Aquino has been criticizing Roxas' rivals during the campaign period.

"God willing, at this point, you have already reflected deeply on your decision. It's my honor to be part of the peaceful transition of power under our democratic processes," said the President in his statement.

"After you cast your vote, go home quietly. In monitoring election results, make sure that your source of information is credible. Don't believe speculation or wrong reports," he added.

The run-up to the 2016 elections has been a particularly intense period for Filipinos, especially those active on social media.

While sites like Facebook and Twitter have helped in spreading information about the candidates, their platforms, and crucial issues, social media has also been used as a venue for cyber bullying and harassment.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) noted that election-related human rights violations are rampant online. – Rappler.com

Who is leading in the 2016 Philippine elections?

Follow the LIVE 2016 election results for the national and local races through the links below.

For live updates on the aftermath of the May 9 elections, check out our extensive 2016 Philippine elections coverage!


MANILA STANDARD

Comelec creates audit body for official count posted May 15, 2016 at 12:01 am by Sara Susanne D. Fabunan

THE Commission on Elections will create a subcommittee to audit the official count of votes cast in the May 9 elections to dispel doubts of cheating, Comelec Commissioner Arthur Lim said Saturday.

Lim said the commission decided to create a subcommittees to compare the hard printed copies as delivered by the provincial election supervisors and the generated certificates of canvass as well as the statement of votes per municipality.

“This is to determine if any municipality has been omitted from the certificate of canvass,” Lim said, adding that the subcommittee will start auditing everything today, Sunday.

“The parties will be given the opportunity to review the printed COCs as against the hard copies of the COCs, and the statement of votes per municipalities,” Lim said.

Aside from the subcommittee, the Comelec will do a manual tabulation for the purpose of generating the certificate of canvass for the positions of senator and party-list congressman.

READ MORE...

“What we will do is similar to a statement of votes per province,” he said, adding the first statement will contain all the votes, whether automated or manual.

The second statement, he said, will contain all the votes broken down per province or highly urbanized city, or local absentee voting, or detainee voting.

The subcommittee will also prepare a third statement consolidating the two votes from both statements.

“And that will be the basis of the certificate of canvass, and as well as the basis for the certificate of proclamation,” Lim said.

Lim assured that this auditing process will only take two days.

The Comelec announced on Friday it is looking to proclaim the winners of 12 senators either on Tuesday or Thursday.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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