Latest Stories

Comelec close to deal with Dominion, Smartmatic on release of source code


Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr.. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes on Wednesday said they have been finalizing the agreement with automated elections technology suppliers Dominion Voting Systems Inc. and Smartmatic International for the release of the source code of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in time for its review by political parties, accredited organizations and independent candidates.

“We’re now winding up the specific provisions of the agreement. We’re still discussing some things. Then the final agreement will be sent to the lawyers of Smartmatic and Dominion in the United States, they will be the ones who will finalize the agreement,” said Brillantes told reporters in an interview at the National Printing Office Wednesday.

The poll chief said that as of Tuesday, the deal was already “97 percent” sure of being completed.

“We now have 96 to 97 percent chances of getting the source code for the machines to be used in the May 13 polls,” he said.

Brillantes earlier said that Dominion, the election provider that developed the PCOS technology, has practically agreed to release the source code.

“We’re just waiting for the lawyers’ go signal. I am just praying that after we are through here in the Philippines, those in the US will already approve it,” he said.

The source code of the PCOS machines is the computer-programming language that makes the machines run.

Dominion, which owns the technology of the PCOS and had licensed it to Smartmatic, had refused to release the source code because of a pending legal case against Smartmatic.

Dominion canceled its license agreement with Smartmatic in 2012. It has been asking for $10 million from Smartmatic for the use of the source code.

Comelec has been in talks with Dominion since late last 2012 for the release of the PCOS source code, which is currently with SLI Global Solutions, an independent certifying agency based in Denver. SLI will not release the source code to Comelec unless Dominion gives its consent.

Should the Dominion finally agree to release the source code, it should be made available for review of the political parties and other interested groups.

Several interest groups want to review the source code which is supposed to be conducted three months before the elections in accordance with the Automated Election System law.

Brillantes said he expects to announce the results of the negotiation by April 15, barely a month before the May 13 elections.

He said they have already started giving out notices to political parties and to citizens’ arm Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV). He said source code reviewers can start with the Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS).

Meanwhile, the National Printing Office has finished printing all 52 million official ballots for the May 2013 elections, three weeks ahead of schedule.

The printing was completed in just 57 days, three weeks earlier than the scheduled completion date on April 25.

“Pati ako nagulat nga e. In 57 days, natapos agad ang printing ng balota natin . This is really record-breaking. I think this should set the manner of printing by NPO for all subsequent printing of all elections in the future,” said the poll chief.

Aside from saving time, Brillantes also pointed that they were able to save money from the project since it went through public bidding.

Brillantes, along with Commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, and Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) head Henrietta De Villa, witnessed the printing of the last ballot in a closing ceremony at the NPO office in Quezon City on Wednesday.

“We made it in 57 days… we hope we satisfied you with our performance,” said NPO Director Emmanuel Andaya addressed the crowd composed of Comelec and NPO personnel.

NPO Deputy Director Raul Nagrampa said they were able to save as much as P200 million compared to the 2010 polls.

And now that the precinct-specific ballots are all printed, tested, and packed, the 52,333,801 official ballots will be delivered to different parts of the country at the proper time, according to Brillantes.

As explained by Brillantes, deployment shall be in different stages starting with the Comelec warehouse in Marikina City then to the regional hubs, provinces, municipalities, and finally to precincts on Election Day.

“These are already good for delivery along with other items and election paraphernalia,” said Brillantes.

It can be recalled that ballot printing, which was out-sourced by the NPO to Holy Family Printing Corporation and Canon Marketing Philippines, began last February 4.

The Comelec has already contracted two companies to handle the deployment of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines and other election paraphernalia.

Airfreight 2100, Inc. is set to handle deployment to all regions in the country except in Visayas, which will be carried out by Joint Venture of 2GO Express, Inc. and 2GO Logistics Inc.

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: 2013 elections , 2013 midterm elections , Automated elections , Commission on Elections , Dominion Voting Systems Inc. , Elections , Precinct Count Optical Scan , Sixto Brillantes , Smartmatic International , Source Code , technology

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
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  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. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 4.6-magnitude quake hits Surigao del Norte
  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace