Quantcast
Latest Stories

Bishop accuses Comelec of ‘stonewalling’ on PCOS

By

A Catholic bishop on Saturday accused the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of repeatedly “stonewalling” when questions are raised about the integrity of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines that will be used in the May 2013 automated elections.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo cited in particular the warnings from the election watchdog Automated Election System (AES) Watch that “wholesale cheating” could occur with the use of the PCOS machines.

AES Watch and Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. gave a briefing for the bishops in a plenary session last month but Pabillo said the Comelec chief left them with more questions than answers.

According to the bishop, even with the elections now being completely automated, he has received information that so-called “election operators” were asking for P20 million to “fix” a provincial gubernatorial race and P70 million for a mayoralty race in Metro Manila.

He said he had reiterated to Brillantes and Comelec officials the Church position that the poll body should look into the PCOS machines, which they claimed had many problems.

“[But the Comelec] believes that everything is OK. That is stonewalling. They’re saying, ‘We did no wrong and just take our word for it.’ Instead of taking seriously and looking into these concerns, they’re downplaying it,” said Pabillo, who heads the National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Unanswered questions

He said Brillantes had assured the bishops that there would be elections in May and had downplayed the bishops’ questions about the digital signatures, alleged cheating in the 2010 elections and the disagreement between Smartmatic and Dominion.

“We said, ‘Won’t there be a problem if you use pirated software. What will happen with the source code review?’ He did not answer that,” Pabillo said.

“We mentioned the glitches during the last elections. Why is it that no one was held accountable? Why is it that no one was punished?” he added.

He said these issues that were raised by AES Watch showed the bishops that there was a “serious problem” with the automated election system.

The Comelec had designated SLI Global, a US-based company that conducts voting systems certification testing, to review the source code, or the set of computer instructions for the automated voting program.

SLI Global’s certification could not be released, however, after Smartmatic, the supplier of the PCOS machines, had a falling out with its corporate partner, Dominion Voting System, whose approval was needed for the code to be released.

“The bishops saw that there is a serious problem, that wholesale cheating could occur,” Pabillo said.

The bishop suggested that the Comelec revert to a “manual system” of voting and counting votes at the precinct level. But he said the transmission of the results to the canvassing centers should be automated.

Pabillo said the government may be closing out the questions being raised about the integrity of the PCOS machines because “many [politicians] who are with the [ruling] Liberal Party might be affected.”

While admitting that he had no evidence, the bishop said he had received reports that “political operators” were already approaching candidates and offering to help them win their way to public office.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: AES Watch , Automated Election System Watch , Broderick Pabillo , Catholic bishop , Comelec , Commission on Elections , PCOS machines , Precinct Count Optical Scan




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  2. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  3. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. Solons seek ample protection for bank depositors
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Tragedies at sea: The Sewol and the Costa Concordia
  10. Santiago: Gigi Reyes is Enrile’s fall guy
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry in Korea
  • Aquino: ‘Doubting Thomases’ now contributing to PH recovery
  • Fire engulfs apartments in Sampaloc
  • Messy warehouse belongs to Unicef, WFP, says Soliman
  • Suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels release hostage
  • Sports

  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement