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Political Tidbits is the prestigious column of Belinda Olivares-Cunanan that ran for 25 continuous years in the op-ed page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the newspaper that she helped put up with its multi-awarded founder, the legendary Eugenia Duran-Apostol, in December 1985, just two months before the EDSA Revolution.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Nervousness about Rodrigo Duterte palpable even as his inaugural is just a month away, due to his recent attack on bishops/Church and statements that seem off-the-cuff rather than well-thought out. New Press Secretary/spokesperson Sal Panelo seeks to allay public apprehension by stressing that these statements could be “pang kampanya lang.” Duterte contemplates simple inaugural at Malacanang with only pika-pika fare. Even as House reps rally to battle-cry, "Change is coming," faint whispers in half-jest also admonish that "Abolition is coming."


Monday, May 23, 2016

Newly-appointed Presidential Spokesperson and Press Secretary Salvador Panelo poses with media women (left to right: Mandy Navasero, yours truly, Domini Torrevillas and Deedee Siytanco, with Saeed Daof.



Recently I was having a blow-dry at my favorite beauty parlor when a lady friend wailed into my cellphone, “Bel, ano ba ito? Why is the new President frightening all of us?” She then rattled off the “offer” made public by presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte of four mass-based Cabinet posts to the Left. 

Amid the whirring of the hair-dryer I could barely hear my friend as she cited headlines about Duterte’s intention to bring back the death penalty, abolished since 2007, and she was plainly hysterical as she noted how he advocated death by hanging, describing vividly how the head would snap from the body!  She also noted that Duterte said he'd give law-enforcers permission to shoot-to-kill lawless elements, prompting human rights advocates here and around the world to discombobulate. 

XXX

“Ano ba ito? Dios ko!  my lady friend wailed. I agreed with her and we spoke about how even the usually mild-mannered come-backing Cebu Mayor Tommy Osmena seems to afflicted with the same sickness as the President-elect. Osmena raised eyebrows when he was recently quoted as offering to pay his police force a bounty of P50,000 for every criminal they kill, and P5,000 for every criminal they wound.

The Cebu mayor was quoted as saying that he would not suppress vigilantes, but my wailing lady friend and I agreed that vigilante-style executions are not the answer to criminality.  Instead it lies in strengthening the justice system where palakasan is reduced through the appointment of dedicated public servants in the judiciary, and properly equipping and motivating the police and security forces.
  
I sought to comfort my hysterical friend, opining that the President-elect should  have signified mere intention to submit these moves to exhaustive study and consultation first, rather than sounding so definitive about imposing them. There’s a whole world of difference between rushing headlong to implement a move and first subjecting it to study and deliberation---the way there is a difference between being a demagogue and being a statesman.  

XXX

I realize that those initial pronouncements were made to shock and awe, in true Duterte fashion, and that they caught on with the broad masses during the campaign--- garnering him the biggest plurality of 17 million votes, over 6 million more than his closest rival, LP’s Mar Roxas. Duterte must be reminded, however, that he is now the President-in-waiting and in a little more than a month he will be sworn in to rule over our country, God-permitting, for the next six years. Unfortunately Rody Duterte has not let up on the shock and awe tactic.

Today’s headlines screamed about how he hit the Catholic Church as “the most hypocritical institution” in the vilest language. He also brushed aside complaints from his long-time friend and patron, 64-year old Pastor Apollo Quiboloy---one of his biggest financiers, who lent him use of his private jet and other assets in his campaign---about his being shut out from negotiations regarding Duterte’s appointments. In this connection, however, perhaps it's timely to remind the good sect-leader that his kingdom-building ought to be geared toward the spiritual world.

Adding to the general unease is the oft-repeated threat of the incoming President that if he encounters an obstinate Congress, he would abolish it.

XXX

The nervousness of much of the population is evident, even as a sizable part of them is applauding loudly his seeming decisiveness and forcefulness, in stark contrast to the frightfully limp image of outgoing President Aquino. I had occasion last Saturday afternoon to air this sentiment on behalf of all those nervous about Digong to his new Press Secretary and Spokesperson, UP-trained lawyer Salvador Panelo, whom Cecile Guidote Alvarez and I were able to hijack for a 20-minute interview for her Sunday 6 pm. program, “Radyo Balintataw,” over dzRH.

The occasion was the victory celebration at the old Sampaguita Pictures compound of two first-cousins recently elected to the HouseL Christopher Vera Perez de Venecia, son of outgoing Rep. Gina de Venecia of Pangasinan’s 4th  district and former Speaker Joe de Venecia, and Edward Vera Perez Maceda, son of former Sen. Ernesto Maceda and Marichu Vera Perez Maceda.

XXX

Witty and quite approachable, and dressed in what he said would be de riguer attire in the Duterte administration (T-shirt and denim pants with cuts that expose the fabric's threads), Sal Panelo sought to calm public apprehension about his incoming boss’ remarks on vigilante justice---even as I noted that US President Barack, in his five-minute congratulatory call to the President-elect, sought to remind him about human rights. Panelo, whose wife is a famous endocrinologist, stressed that after all, Duterte is a lawyer and knows the limits of the law; he opined that doubtless those remarks were “pang-kampanya lang” and that Obama’s admonition “should be taken in context.”

Panelo also revealed that the incoming President is leaning toward a very simple inaugural at Malacanang Palace, not at the Luneta, with just pika-pika instead of a full-course banquet. This is laudable.

The incoming Press Secretary---who will have his own battle with the Commission on Appointments over his involvement as lawyer of the Ampatuan family during the investigation into the infamous massacre that ended in many media people slain--- narrated that he had been egging the Davao mayor to run for president as early as seven years ago. Panelo cited his incoming boss' opinion that only he can truly articulate Duterte's mind. If this is so, I expressed the hope that he as presidential spokesperson could help rein in his boss' often outlandish statements and subject them to intensive study and deliberation first---in other words, that Duterte can act more like a statesman than a campaigning politico.

XXX

Inside the House of Representatives, politicians from the 40-year old NUP, the NP and the NPC are now busy positioning themselves vis-à-vis the new administration and a new leader in the chamber---in the hope of getting juicy committee chairmanships.  Duterte’s anointed candidate for Speaker is Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez and as expected, there'll be a lot of shifting of party loyalty to support him. First to jump ship are some 80 out of the 116 LPs elected, who have opted to join Alvarez's “Coalition for Change” with the empirical blessing of outgoing Speaker Sonny Belmonte, soon to become the Minority Leader. Leading the pack of turncoats is the Visayan bloc led by Rep. Albee Benitez which originally went for Grace Poe. The Panay bloc originally supported VP Jejomar Binay but is now also supporting Alvarez.  

The NPC, which earlier backed up Grace Poe, has now allied with PDP-Laban, whose chair is Duterte himself.

And so the House politicians once again demonstrate that politics is essentially the survival of the fittest. But even as there is jockeying for posts amid the battle-cry, “Change is coming,” there are also faint whispers in the corridors of power that say in half-jest, “Abolition is coming!” 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 elections appeared uneventful at first, only for controversial glitches to surface in next few days. Change of transparency server's script by Smartmatic operations chief Marlon Garcia sans permission of Comelec en banc. Though Chief Andres Bautista terms Garcia breach "minor," it erodes 2016 elections' credibility, affecting Marcos-Robredo battle. IT experts demand placing all Smartmatic officials on hold-departure. Their battle-cry: Game over for Smartmatic. Right on.




The recent national elections are generally thought to have turned out well, compared to the two previous elections, but common failings have surfaced, among them: 

1) mismatched results; 
2) candidates’ names missing or the other side of the coin, voters’ lists unexpurgated; 
3) vote counting machines (VCMs) in undisclosed areas, with about 2,500 of them failing to function altogether, disenfranchising some 1.5 million voters; 
4) discrepancies between voters’ intent and the VVPAT receipts; 
5) aggregate sums of select candidates go down as counting went on, when at worst these should remain steady; 
6) questionable transmissions due to the physical handling of all Secured Digital (SD) cards from the VCMs to the canvassing centers; 
6) signals non-existent or weak in some places, etc.

But to my mind, the most serious failing of the 2016 elections is the tampering of the script or command for the transparency servers--without the permission of the Comelec en banc, as provided in R.A. 9369, the Automated Election System (AES) Law. This is the most worrisome of all the recent elections' shortcomings, as it directly challenges their integrity. It means that the system can be hacked from within seemingly without effort or detection.

XXX

As a background, feisty Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon gave a stiff dressing down to the chief of Smartmatic’s technical support team, the Venezuelan Marlon Garcia, for making changes in the script or command of the transparency server---without first consulting and informing the Commissioners en banc, as the law provides. The transparency server dishes out election results to the PPCRV, the citizen arm charged with election quick-count and cited as primary source by media outfits. But as a result of the unauthorized change of script or command, now the PPCRV’s data are held suspect in some quarters as favoring one party over another. This is particularly true in the tight vice-presidential race. 

Marlon Garcia, when questioned, gave the lame excuse that he wanted merely to correct the lack of proper use of the “enye” sign in the names of certain candidates, which had appeared only as ?. Was that all that Garcia did with the Transparency server? Peks man?

Commissioner Guanzon, however, was rightly cynical and termed Garcia's act a breach of protocol. She stressed that he should be made liable to Comelec and the people of the Philippines, as he took too much liberty with our election laws.

An alert FB reader notes that it's strange for the Venezuelan officials of Smartmatic, who designed the electoral system, to overlook the proper “enye” sign, considering that it's very much in the Spanish language.  Comelec Chair Andres Bautista quickly termed this breach controversy a “minor” one that would not affect the outcome of the elections, but to Guanzon, Garcia should answer to the en banc for this outright violation of the law.

XXX

Even before Guanzon denounced Garcia's tampering, Filipino IT experts already raised the alarm last Wednesday, May 11, at a press conference at their command center at the Pamantasan ng Lunsod ng Maynila. They deplored that the software that counted our votes was designed and operated not by us Filipinos, but by the foreign company which should already have been held accountable for many glitches in THREE PRIOR ELECTIONS,  namely, the 2008 ARMM elections, and the 2010 and 2013 elections.  The IT experts now challenged the incoming Duterte administration “to BEGIN real reforms of the election system, holding accountable those who perennially make poll automation an exercise in speed and convenience, over transparency, accountability, security and accuracy.” 

But just as important, the Filipino IT experts demanded that all the Smartmatic officials be placed under a departure hold-order, and that the country be done with this foreign firm for good. I cannot agree more. 

XXX

The question in many minds is, in changing the script or command order, was Marlon Garcia behaving innocently or was he in cahoots with syndicates known to be operating from within? This same Smartmatic official has been involved in other controversies in past Philippine elections, e.g., in 2013, when an intermediary server suddenly sprouted between the PPCRV and the transparency server that dished out data directly from Comelec. No one seems to have known about this mysterious server until an alert bunch of IT folks discovered it and traced it to Garcia. Yet he went unscathed, only to figure in a new controversy this time.  

Sadly these recent happenings within the Comelec only serve to further erode the credibility of the elections. 

I reproduce here the opinions of a couple of IT experts, in the hope that they would help enlighten you readers on this new controversy stirred up by the Smartmatic official.

XXX

Manila Times Columnist Rene Azurin puts the problem about Garcia’s move succinctly thus: 

“The main point about this script change is being totally missed. The point here is that A SMARTMATIC PERSON HAS ACCESS TO THE SERVER PROGRAM WHILE CANVASSING IS GOING ON. This is a security flaw and should not have been the case!” (emphasis BOC's).  Azurin stresses that “If this Smartmatic person can change that one character, he can change other things as well.”

On the other hand, IT expert Leo Querubin puts the move of Smartmatic’s Garcia in the context of Sec. 35 of R.A. 9369. amending Sec. 29. R.A. 8436, as follows: 

“Sec. 35. Prohibited Acts and Penalties. - The following shall be penalized as provided in this Act, WHETHER OR NOT SAID ACTS AFFECT THE ELECTORAL PROCESS OR RESULTS:

(c) GAINING or causing access to using, ALTERING, destroying or disclosing any computer data, program, system software, network, or any computer-related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether classified or declassified…” A further provision of RA 9369 provides that “Any person convicted for violation of this Act, except those convicted of the crime of electoral sabotage, shall be penalized with imprisonment of eight years and one day to twelve (12) without possibility of parole, and perpetual disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage. Moreover, the offender shall be perpetually disqualified to hold any non-elective public office."

XXX

IT professor and practitioner Edmundo “Toti” Casino, on the other hand, cites SEC. 42. Section 27 (b) of Republic Act No. 6646 as hereby amended, to read as follows :

"The act or offense committed shall fall under the category of electoral sabotage in any of the following instances;

"(1) When the tampering, increase and/or decrease of votes perpetrated or the refusal to credit the correct votes or to deduct tampered votes, is/are committed in the election of a national elective office which is voted upon nationwide and the tampering, increase and/or decrease of votes, refusal to credit the correct votes or to deduct tampered votes, shall adversely affect the results of the election to the said national office to the extent that losing candidate/s is /are made to appear the winner/s;

"(2)  Regardless of the elective office involved, when the tampering, increase and/or decrease of votes committed or the refusal to credit the correct votes or to deduct tampered votes perpetrated, is accomplished in a single election document or in the transposition of the figure/results from one election document to another and involved in the said tampering increase and/or decrease or refusal to credit correct votes or deduct tampered votes exceed five thousand (5,000) votes, and that the same adversely affects the true results of the election ;

"(3) Any and all other forms or tampering increase/s and/or decrease/s of votes perpetuated or in cases of refusal to credit the correct votes or deduct the tampered votes, where the total votes involved exceed ten thousand (10,000) votes; ..Provided finally; That any and all either persons or individuals determined to be in conspiracy or in connivance with the members of the BEIs or BOCs involved, shall be meted the same penalty of life imprisonment."

XXX

Former Comelec IT Chief Ernie del Rosario also weighed in on this fraudulent practice of Smartmatic's Marlon Garcia:

"The specific PM component missing here is that of Change Control which serves as a strict control of ALL changes to be effected in the system, no matter how minor, inconsequential or as the Chairman says, "cosmetic" the change is. This controversial change that was applied MUST be effected ONLY if there is a duly signed Change Request document duly-approved and signed by a Change Control Board.

"Simply, a Change Request document is a formal request that defines a change or addition to the agreed to and signed off requirements of the solution. This can be in the form of an interface, a bolt-on application, a report, a data conversion, or a modification to a system such as an addition of even a one-word or one-letter (such an "n" to an "enye") or one number or one special character script to a program. All change requests are submitted to the Change Control Board, which evaluates all requests. 

"To resolve this issue what PPCRV or Comelec or Smartmatic should produce is the specific approved Change Request document that allowed the script addition change. Where is it ? This is a multi-billion peso project and as mentioned above a mission-critical system and there seems to be no such project management system in place ? OMG !!!

"A similar thing happened in 2013 where a Smartmatic personnel also did something in the Conspiracy (Oops ! Transparency pala) Server.  This was documented in several media videos. We lodged a formal complaint  on this to the Supreme Court which must be resurrected and high-lighted again this time that we indeed delegated the conduct of our elections to foreigners.  As usual the SC has not acted on the complaint until now."

XXX

Among the numerous deficiencies in the conduct of the two prior automated elections, these very similar incidents are worth bearing in mind:

(1) In 2010, a Smartmatic technician cavalierly accessed the canvassing program to change the number of voters after the tally showed an erroneous 256 million as the total number of registered voters; and

(2) In 2013, a Smartmatic technician accessed the canvassing server to correct a script that produced an astonishing 12-million vote surge barely two hours into the canvassing. (Uncorrected, that surge would have produced an aggregate vote far exceeding the total number of registered voters.) 
These incidents indicate major flaws in the Smartmatic system that our Commission on Elections has been so bent on foisting on the Filipino people.
This now puts the entire canvassing process in serious doubt. The integrity of the automated results can now be reasonably questioned.

- RENÉ AZURIN, Author, Hacking Our Democracy, and Convener, AES Watch

Saturday, May 14, 2016

2016 elections appeared uneventful at first, only for controversial glitches to surface within days. Change of transparency server's script by Smartmatic operations chief Marlon Garcia sans permission of Comelec en banc. Chief Andres Bautista terms this protocol breach "minor," but it erodes elections' credibility, especially Marcos-Robredo battle. IT experts demand placing all Smartmatic officials on departure hold-order. Their battle-cry: Game Over, Smartmatic!



The recent national elections are generally thought to have turned out well, compared to the two previous elections, but common failings have surfaced, among them:

1) mismatched results;
2) candidates’ names missing or the other side of the coin, voters’ lists unexpurgated;
3) vote counting machines (VCMs) in undisclosed areas, with about 2,500 of them failing to function altogether, disenfranchising some 1.5 million voters;
4) discrepancies between voters’ intent and the VVPAT receipts;
5) aggregate sums of select candidates go down as counting went on, when at worst these should remain steady;
6) questionable transmissions due to the physical handling of all 92,509 SD cards from the VCMs to the canvassing centers;
6) signals non-existent or weak in some places, etc.

But to my mind, the most serious failing of the 2016 elections is the tampering of the script or command for the transparency servers--without the permission of the Comelec en banc, as provided in R.A. 9369, the Automated Election System (AES) Law. This is the most worrisome of all the recent elections' shortcomings, as it directly challenges their integrity. It means that the system can be hacked from within seemingly without effort or detection.

XXX

As a background, feisty Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon gave a stiff dressing down to the chief of Smartmatic’s technical support team, the Venezuelan Marlon Garcia, for making changes in the script or command of the transparency server---without first consulting and informing the Commissioners en banc, as the law provides. The transparency server dishes out election results to the PPCRV, the citizen arm charged with election quick-count and cited as primary source by media outfits. But as a result of the unauthorized change of script or command, now the PPCRV’s data are held suspect in some quarters as favoring one party over another. This is particularly true in the tight vice-presidential race.

Marlon Garcia, when questioned, gave the lame excuse that he wanted merely to correct the lack of proper use of the “enye” sign in the names of certain candidates, which had appeared only as ?. Was that all that Garcia did with the Transparency server? Peks man?

Commissioner Guanzon, however, was rightly cynical and termed Garcia's act a breach of protocol. She stressed that he should be made liable to Comelec and the people of the Philippines, as he took too much liberty with our election laws.

An alert FB reader notes that it's strange for the Venezuelan officials of Smartmatic, who designed the electoral system, to overlook the proper “enye” sign, considering that it's very much in the Spanish language.  Comelec Chair Andres Bautista quickly termed this breach controversy a “minor” one that would not affect the outcome of the elections, but to Guanzon, Garcia should answer to the en banc for this outright violation of the law.

XXX

Even before Guanzon denounced Garcia's tampering, Filipino IT experts already raised the alarm last Wednesday, May 11, at a press conference at their command center at the Pamantasan ng Lunsod ng Maynila. They deplored that the software that counted our votes was designed and operated not by us Filipinos, but by the foreign company which should already have been held accountable for many glitches in THREE PRIOR ELECTIONS,  namely, the 2008 ARMM elections, and the 2010 and 2013 elections.  The IT experts now challenged the incoming Duterte administration “to BEGIN real reforms of the election system, holding accountable those who perennially make poll automation an exercise in speed and convenience, over transparency, accountability, security and accuracy.”

But just as important, the Filipino IT experts demanded that all the Smartmatic officials be placed under a departure hold-order, and that the country be done with this foreign firm for good. I cannot agree more.

XXX

The question in many minds is, in changing the script or command order, was Marlon Garcia behaving innocently or was he in cahoots with syndicates known to be operating from within? This same Smartmatic official has been involved in other controversies in past Philippine elections, e.g., in 2013, when an intermediary server suddenly sprouted between the PPCRV and the transparency server that dished out data directly from Comelec. No one seems to have known about this mysterious server until an alert bunch of IT folks discovered it and traced it to Garcia. Yet he went unscathed, only to figure in a new controversy this time.

Sadly these recent happenings within the Comelec only serve to further erode the credibility of the elections.

I reproduce here the opinions of a couple of IT experts, in the hope that they would help enlighten you readers on this new controversy stirred up by the Smartmatic official.

XXX

Manila Times Columnist Rene Azurin puts the problem about Garcia’s move succinctly thus:

“The main point about this script change is being totally missed. The point here is that A SMARTMATIC PERSON HAS ACCESS TO THE SERVER PROGRAM WHILE CANVASSING IS GOING ON. This is a security flaw and should not have been the case!” (emphasis BOC's).  Azurin stresses that “If this Smartmatic person can change that one character, he can change other things as well.”

On the other hand, IT expert Leo Querubin puts the move of Smartmatic’s Garcia in the context of Sec. 35 of R.A. 9369. amending Sec. 29. R.A. 8436, as follows:

“Sec. 35. Prohibited Acts and Penalties. - The following shall be penalized as provided in this Act, WHETHER OR NOT SAID ACTS AFFECT THE ELECTORAL PROCESS OR RESULTS:

(c) GAINING or causing access to using, ALTERING, destroying or disclosing any computer data, program, system software, network, or any computer-related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether classified or declassified…” A further provision of RA 9369 provides that “Any person convicted for violation of this Act, except those convicted of the crime of electoral sabotage, shall be penalized with imprisonment of eight years and one day to twelve (12) without possibility of parole, and perpetual disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage. Moreover, the offender shall be perpetually disqualified to hold any non-elective public office."

XXX

IT professor and practitioner Edmundo “Toti” Casino, on the other hand, cites SEC. 42. Section 27 (b) of Republic Act No. 6646 as hereby amended, to read as follows :

"The act or offense committed shall fall under the category of electoral sabotage in any of the following instances;

"(1) When the tampering, increase and/or decrease of votes perpetrated or the refusal to credit the correct votes or to deduct tampered votes, is/are committed in the election of a national elective office which is voted upon nationwide and the tampering, increase and/or decrease of votes, refusal to credit the correct votes or to deduct tampered votes, shall adversely affect the results of the election to the said national office to the extent that losing candidate/s is /are made to appear the winner/s;

"(2)  Regardless of the elective office involved, when the tampering, increase and/or decrease of votes committed or the refusal to credit the correct votes or to deduct tampered votes perpetrated, is accomplished in a single election document or in the transposition of the figure/results from one election document to another and involved in the said tampering increase and/or decrease or refusal to credit correct votes or deduct tampered votes exceed five thousand (5,000) votes, and that the same adversely affects the true results of the election ;

"(3) Any and all other forms or tampering increase/s and/or decrease/s of votes perpetuated or in cases of refusal to credit the correct votes or deduct the tampered votes, where the total votes involved exceed ten thousand (10,000) votes; ..Provided finally; That any and all either persons or individuals determined to be in conspiracy or in connivance with the members of the BEIs or BOCs involved, shall be meted the same penalty of life imprisonment."

XXX

Former Comelec IT Chief Ernie del Rosario also weighed in on this fraudulent practice of Smartmatic's Marlon Garcia:

"The specific PM component missing here is that of Change Control which serves as a strict control of ALL changes to be effected in the system, no matter how minor, inconsequential or as the Chairman says, "cosmetic" the change is. This controversial change that was applied MUST be effected ONLY if there is a duly signed Change Request document duly-approved and signed by a Change Control Board.

"Simply, a Change Request document is a formal request that defines a change or addition to the agreed to and signed off requirements of the solution. This can be in the form of an interface, a bolt-on application, a report, a data conversion, or a modification to a system such as an addition of even a one-word or one-letter (such an "n" to an "enye") or one number or one special character script to a program. All change requests are submitted to the Change Control Board, which evaluates all requests.

"To resolve this issue what PPCRV or Comelec or Smartmatic should produce is the specific approved Change Request document that allowed the script addition change. Where is it ? This is a multi-billion peso project and as mentioned above a mission-critical system and there seems to be no such project management system in place ? OMG !!!

"A similar thing happened in 2013 where a Smartmatic personnel also did something in the Conspiracy (Oops ! Transparency pala) Server.  This was documented in several media videos. We lodged a formal complaint  on this to the Supreme Court which must be resurrected and high-lighted again this time that we indeed delegated the conduct of our elections to foreigners.  As usual the SC has not acted on the complaint until now."

XXX

Among the numerous deficiencies in the conduct of the two prior automated elections, these very similar incidents are worth bearing in mind:

(1) In 2010, a Smartmatic technician cavalierly accessed the canvassing program to change the number of voters after the tally showed an erroneous 256 million as the total number of registered voters; and

(2) In 2013, a Smartmatic technician accessed the canvassing server to correct a script that produced an astonishing 12-million vote surge barely two hours into the canvassing. (Uncorrected, that surge would have produced an aggregate vote far exceeding the total number of registered voters.)
These incidents indicate major flaws in the Smartmatic system that our Commission on Elections has been so bent on foisting on the Filipino people.
This now puts the entire canvassing process in serious doubt. The integrity of the automated results can now be reasonably questioned.

- RENÉ AZURIN, Author, Hacking Our Democracy, and Convener, AES Watch