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.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Days after elections Brillantes declared he’s willing to open all ballot boxes to show there's no fraud. Now, confronted by 60-30-10 linear pattern all over country, especially in 21 Mindanao LGUs (Tandem: the “smoking gun”) Comelec Chief demands P200 million from complainants before he oks. manual count. He should charge Smartmatic whom he paid P1.8 billion of taxpayers' money for lousy PCOS machines.

Last May 19, six days after the May 13 mid-term elections, Ateneo math professor Lex Muga first raised in his FB page his observation about an "interesting pattern” of 60-30-10 in favor of Team Pinoy senatorial candidates---which immediately caught the nation’s imagination. Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes, reacting to Dr. Muga’s hypothesis, was quoted in a newspaper five days later as dismissing this “pattern.”

Not only that, Brillantes was also quoted as “willing to have all the ballot boxes in the country opened to show that there was no fraud.”  Stressing that he was staking his reputation on the fact that no one programmed it, he opined that, “In fact, the final evidence would be if we open all the ballot boxes in the Philippines. I’m willing to make a bet that 98 (or) 99 percent of the ballots and the PCOS would have the same results.”


After the June 25 press conference sponsored by civil-society group  Tanggulang Demokrasya (TanDem), however, where IT experts presented  massive fraud in big cities all over Luzon and the Visayas, but especially in 21 LGUs in Mindanao---the “smoking gun” in the electoral cheating---Brillantes now says he’ll allow a manual count of all votes only if the complainants fork across P200 million to cover costs of a recount! 

Nang nabuking siya, he now resorts to blackmail in reverse.

The nerve of this man. He paid Smartmatic P1.8 billion in taxpayers’ money for those used machines, some 18,000 of which had malfunctioned last elections. He also paid the AES technology owner, Dominion Voting Systems, a whopping $10 million (your taxpayer's money and mine) to finally yield the controversial AES source code , but this proved useless as it came a few days before the elections, and the IT experts and political parties had no time at all to review it.

Now he has the temerity to ask patriotic citizens whose only concern is to safeguard the integrity of the ballot to cough up P200 million. He should charge this to Smartmatic whose glib sales-talk he was gullible enough to buy. 


At last June 25’s presscon a technical working group (TWG) led by Herminigildo “Jun” Estrella and Solidarity for Sovereignty advocate Adolfo Paglinawan, with invaluable inputs from Dr. Muga and former Comelec IT Chief Ernie del Rosario, presented indisputable findings from around the country, many down to precinct level, establishing the mysterious 60-30-10 pattern from the 1st-16th canvass--- in what looked like pre-programming to favor Team Pinoy.  

Moreover, in this latest set of studies the TWG detected an unmistakable “dancing pattern” between Team Pinoy and UNA. The two blocs basically maintained the detected 60-30-10 linear arrangement, but in addition they also kept a consistent but complimentary peaks-and-valleys pattern---where Team Pinoy went up UNA also went up, and where the former plunged the latter also went down. Incredibly the two lines never intersected, or as Paglinawan mischievously put it, “they never stepped on each other’s toes, like skillful cha-cha partners.”  

Cagayan de Oro (stretched out)
LP and UNA votes per precinct
(Note the synchronized “dance” of the data points in each precinct and the
absence of data crossing from LP’s to UNA’s domains;  an impossibility in a real election)
Davao City 
LP and UNA votes per precinct


The “poll fraud detectives,” as I like to call Estrella, Paglinawan, Del Rosario et al, concluded that from the PCOS machines the election returns (ERs) were transmitted directly to the Transparency Server at Comelec Central. This was in direct violation of transmission sequence as mandated by the AES Law, RA 8436, as amended by RA 9369, which provides that from the machines ERs are to be transmitted to the city/municipal consolidation and canvassing system (CCS) first, before they were to be sent anywhere else.

The rationale for this very specific transmission sequence is that if ERs were sent to the city/municipal CCS first, “any attempt to tamper the results would involve 1,600 servers in the national contests.” Whereas, by sending them directly to the Transparency Server at Comelec Central, “ it would only involve ONE SET OF PEOPLE TO CO-OPT/COERCE" (emphasis mine). 


And that is what happened, opine the poll fraud detectives of AES Watch and Tandem: somewhere between the PCOS machines and the Transparency Server the ERs were “short-stopped” and they suspect that manipulation in the form of “pre-loading” of data occurred in the Server. 

The poll fraud detectives note that when the number of ballots counted reached 12 million (23%) while the number of clustered precincts was “only (?) 11,000 (14%)," canvassing was stopped on May 14. When it resumed, the returns were “batched” or “grouped” by provinces, which, as Ado Paglinawan stressed, was anomalous since the votes should have been received by Server on a “first-in, first-out” basis---not to mention that batching opened ERs to "human manipulation."


Results from Canvasses 1-16 all showed the 60-30-10 pattern, which Estrella likes to describe as “parang mga palito ng posporo ang itsura.” But as he and IT professor Edmundo “Toti” Casino pointed out in another forum, this uniform pattern failed to consider various factors, such as the political landscape of each area, e.g., the bailiwicks of various politicos, as well as geographical and archipelagic realities such as the 8-12 hour crippling brownouts in Mindanao and the botched-up Sabah issue, which were gnawing at P-Noy's popularity there.

Said Estrella: this pattern is not only statistically improbable, it’s statistically impossible.”

Paglinawan pointed out that “masyadong nagmadali ang mga operators ng Comelec, doubtless pursuant to its chief’s desire to finish the elections fast. In the process, they forgot their “Systems 101.” For instance, he pointed out that while there should be a maximum of, say, 1,000 voters per precinct, at 23% in there were already 8,000 votes per precinct.  

Which was doubtless why counting was stopped on the third day as total would otherwise have reached 250 million votes!


Other IT practitioners invoked the Law of Large Numbers as a way to explain the 60-30-10 pattern, but AES Watch experts shot that down by citing that RANDOM transmissions from 76,000 precincts direct from PCOS would make that pattern possible indeed. But such transmissions direct from PCOS in 16 BATCHES of provincial/city clusters rendered the LLN Law “impossible.”

But the biggest problem for the IT experts and us citizens is the fact that the results of the May 10 and 13 automated elections are INCONCLUSIVE for one major reason: the Comelec disabled the chief security feature of the PCOS machines---the digital signatures of the machines themselves as well as those of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) of each precinct.  As Paglinawan and Estrella put it, as a result of this disabling in the two automated elections, we didn’t know where the ERs being fed into the Transparency Server were coming from! 

In other words, we didn't know who were truly elected in those elections. 

Lawsuits are raining on Comelec Chief Brillantes’ head and those of his commission, and piling up before the Supreme Court and the Ombudsman. These agencies of justice and the law should act on them with dispatch, but sadly they haven’t moved. Obviously the removal of CJ Renato Corona was also part of the grand scenario. In the meantime, as senatorial candidate Richard Gordon has appealed, the leading lawyers of this country in Philconsa  should help out, as the future of our democratic processes is at stake.  

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