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.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

White Vote Movement for Life and Family launched by 42 Catholic lay organizations---led by Council of the Laity with El Shaddai as core---vows to get pro-life officials elected. Brillantes finally admits: no time to review source code. “AES Watch” of Pinoy IT experts confirms: no time for “honest-to-goodness source code review with pirated software.” AES Watch warns that “PCOS glitches evident in 2010 will hound Election Day 2013, affecting integrity of votes and transparency of election process.”

Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes would have been effective as a snake oil salesman, because he can improvise cures from thin air and fool his patients.  But he is ineffective as chair of the Comelec, which has to stick to rules and regulations if the elections this May are to be credible. But it seems that right now, to this silver-haired salesman of the coming elections, credibility is the least of his problems.  

For example, the Hongkong Filipino community began absentee voting yesterday but there was no indelible ink for use of the voters, as the law requires. When queried why there was no indelible ink used, Brillantes, who personally supervised the voting there, simply opined that “eh, nakatipid ang Comelec,” adding that even if they wanted to vote twice, the OFWs in HK cannot do so anyway.  Note that brazen statement of unconcern in following the law.


The same unconcern marks his recent huge blunder about the source code---the human readable instructions that define what the computer equipment will do. Over the months Brillantes kept assuring the public that has become increasingly concerned about Comelec's refusal to install safety features of the automated election system (AES) discarded in 2010, especially the  IT experts, that negotiations are going on to obtain the source code from Dominion Voting Systems. He said prospects for getting that code look bright even during the months when Dominion, which owns the PCOS technology, and Smartmatic, the vendor of this machine, were fighting in a Delaware court.

At some point Brillantes said Comelec may still proceed with the PCOS source code review by interested parties---but first it would have to check if it’s the same source code certified by SLI Global Solutions, Inc., the third party reviewer used by Dominion!

But you readers will recall that many months back I already pointed out that in its court suit vs. Dominion, Smartmatic had asserted that it NEVER RECEIVED the source code from Dominion and that this was NEVER deposited in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the 2010 elections, as the law mandated. Smartmatic’s revelation caused many columnists, including this blogger, to point out that the results of the 2010 elections, all the way to the votes for President, MIGHT HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED.  

If the source code was never surrendered, anong program ang ginamit ng PCOS for 2010?


Two days ago, finally Brillantes admits that even if the source code is released by Dominion NOW, with less than a month to the May 2013 elections, there would be no time anymore for the source code review by various political parties and IT experts. In Brillantes’ plan, the elections via PCOS will have to go on without the source code. If so, then what instruction would the machines follow?  

AES Watch sadly had to confirm what the Comelec Chief said: “As AES Watch has been saying since 2010, there is no more time for source code review if Comelec opens it up only a month before Election Day. A real source code review TAKES AT LEAST SIX MONTHS TO ONE YEAR with the nature of the election data in PH elections. And there WILL NEVER BE ANY HONEST-TO-GOODNESS SOURCE CODE REVIEW WITH A PIRATED SOFTWARE…Ergo, the program errors found in the software in the May 2010 elections as demonstrated nationwide in the PCOS glitches, REMAIN and will hound Election Day, affecting the INTEGRITY OF THE VOTES AND THE TRANSPARENCY OF THE WHOLE ELECTION PROCESS in the May 2013 elections” (underscoring BOC’S).


The above narration shows the series of lies Comelec has resorted to for the coming elections.  The query in many minds is, why is this so? What is the agenda? Frankly I am at a loss, for President Aquino is not running for reelection in 2016, so there should be more impartiality in the moves of the Executive’s poll arm---unless the idea is to ensure the victory of the LP in 2016, predicted to field Secretary Mar Roxas and, if reports are true, Kris Aquino as presidential and vice-presidential candidates vs. VP Binay and his runningmate. 

Council of the Laity President,
 Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

This seems to be the only explanation at the moment for all the manipulations by Comelec---as well as the trending that yellow-friendly pollsters are conducting to project “winners” in Team Pinoy and the supposed weaknesses of the Church. A survey purporting to show declining Church attendance suddenly popped up after the Church's lay organizations, led by Council of the Laity President Aurora A. Santiago (UP College of Law '75), launched last week what could truly be the massive “White Vote Movement” for Family and Life. The movement, which counts with some 42 church lay organizations, vows to counter those forces that rammed through Congress, by means of the PDAF, P-Noy's population control agenda, the RH bill, last December 2012.   


A political analyst I was talking to recently noted that while in earlier years of the P-Noy administration there was no clear opposition (with GMA detained in the hospital by the second year on various charges unsupported by evidence so far produced)---with the formation of the UNA for these elections a political opposition has emerged. Add to this the Church whose ranks have been galvanized by the RH bill battle in Congress as no other issue in recent memory has.

As this analyst opined, even assuming that with the machinations of the PCOS and the formidable LP machinery (which sees P-Noy himself campaigning at the grassroots for his candidates like no other President has ever done), the opposition fails to garner  majority in the national and local elective posts---still there would now be opposition where there used to be virtually none.


This analyst opined that a primary target of the Aquino administration in the coming months could be the impeachment of VP Binay, and for this P-Noy needs at least 90 votes in the House to initiate (doubtless VP Binay is well-aware of this, which is why UNA is moving hard to win votes at the local level too).

The complicity of the Supreme Court is also talked about. The way the SC voted  8-7 earlier this year to uphold the Comelec ruling to throw out Imus Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi---only for the SC to reinstate him this week through a shift of one vote--- shocked political pundits. Mayor Maliksi happens to be the son of a close political ally of P-Noy, Gov. Ayong Maliksi of Cavite which has two million votes.

Thus, as you can see, the elections of May 13 have immense implications. 

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