Namfrel worried over PCOS reliability

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Precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Worried about the reports it was getting from the field, the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) on Thursday wrote the Commission on Elections to express its apprehensions about the reliability of the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines.

Namfrel national chair Corazon de la Paz-Bernardo said their volunteers, who were present in several PCOS demonstrations, noticed numerous glitches and raised concerns about the reliability of the performance of the 77,829 PCOS machines that would be used in the May 13 elections.

Because of this, Bernardo urged Comelec to share with its citizen’s arms its contingency plan–or “Plan B”–should the automated elections fail so that election watchdogs could also be ready for it.

“We would like to respectfully bring to your attention our concern about the capability of the PCOS machines to initialize, operate and transmit the results on Election Day,” Bernardo said in a letter to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr.

“We are receiving reports from our provincial chapters about the preparations for the coming elections and this is one of the areas that we feel we have to raise a red flag on,” he added.

Bernardo said malfunctioning PCOS machines would pose problems such as congestion and long lines in the precincts, voluntary disenfranchisement for voters who do not have the time or patience to wait, possibility of low turnout, and frustration for both Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) and the voters.

She said the bases for their concerns included the glitches during the Feb. 2 mock elections, where Namfrel had observers in 17 out of the 20 mock election sites.

“The initialization of the PCOS machine took more than an hour in Baseco, Tondo, Manila; there were no available technicians to assist the Board of Election Inspectors. The BEI had to call the Comelec office in the city to get step-by-step instructions on how to get the machine started,” Bernardo said.

She said the PCOS machines malfunctioned in a number of places and had to be replaced, with the “common problem” being “ballot rejection.”

“This happened in UPIS, Quezon City and Bato, Camarines Sur. The PCOS machine performed initially but stopped after accepting a few ballots at EDSA Elementary School in Manila,” Bernardo said.

“Delays were observed for more than an hour before the BEI could transmit the results. The BEI had to go to a suitable location (e.g. the upper floor of the school building) to get a signal from the network provider,” she added.

Bernardo said this happened in Cagayan de Oro Central School, UPIS in Quezon City, and two precincts in Camarines Sur.

She also said transmission failure was observed in a number of places such as Bongao and Tawi-Tawi in Mindanao; Dumaguete City; Iriga City; and Bato in Camarines Sur.

“Still on transmission of Election Returns, the BEIs in Kabulakan, Negros Oriental were advised to try transmitting at the local Comelec office in the area,” Bernardo said.

She said that even during the national assembly of Namfrel on March 2, the PCOS machine used for a demonstration failed to accept ballots.

“During the training of the Board of Election Inspectors in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, the PCOS failed to function. In the designated Comelec “Demo Centers” (for voters education), the PCOS failed in Cubao and in Davao,” Bernardo said.

“During the Overseas [Absentee] Voting in Hong Kong, the PCOS refused to accept ballots,” she added.

Bernardo also noted that the result of the Random Manual Audit at the UPIS, Quezon City showed 15 variances between the manual count and the PCOS count.

“We know that the Comelec is trying its best to ensure that the preparations for the May 13 elections include the operation-worthiness of the PCOS machines,” she said.

We enjoin you to have your technical staff double check the capability of the PCOS so that the elections will run smoothly from voting to transmission,” she added.

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  • etomacq

    HOCUS PCOS + Brownout sa Mindanao = 12-0 for team Penoy.

    HOCUS PCOS + bayarang surveys = 12-0 for team Penoy.

    Masahol pa sa admin ni GMA.

    • mave

      ayan ka naman gawa2x story balikan kita tapos election etomacq..

      • etomacq

        ginagaya ko lang idol mo na mahilig magbintang at gumawa ng istorya.. effective ba?

      • mave

        wala me idol sa kanila dahil hindi me umaasa sa kanila, idol ko sarili ko dahil sa sarili ko lang ako umaasa…

      • BatangSingapore

        pakawala ka ni abnoy lokohin mo lelong mong panot.

      • mave

        me me pakawala gusto ko lang umunlad ang pilipinas, dnyo ako kagaya nyo mga walang kwenta.

      • Brax82

        Kaya pala di halatang affected ka…

      • mave

        isa ka[pa walang kwenta hindi kayo nkikinabangan ng pinas.

      • Brax82

        Ng Pilipinas or ng retarded mong Pangulo? “nakikinabangan” hmm anu bang mapapala ng isang bansa sa isang taong nahihirapan sa spelling?

      • mave

        mukhang ikaw kamo nahihirapan dahil hindi mka kupit

      • mave

        yes talagang pangulo namin yan ngayon sa pilipinas bakit taga saan kaba pare?

      • Brax82

        makakupit ng alin? Balik blame game? Larong retarded nanaman ba yan?

      • etomacq

        hindi mo pala sila idol bakit ka nagpapaepekto? karpatan namin magpahayag ng damdamin at opinyon kontra sa gobyerno para wag sila umabuso sa kapangyarihan.

      • mave

        batikos ba yan ginagawa mo? gumawa kna nga kwento eh, mga kagaya mo ang nag papalubog sa bansang pilipinas. crabmental nga.

      • etomacq

        kahit si Noynoy na idol mo gumagawa din ng mas madami kwento pero di mo pinapansin.. concern ako sa bayan natin kaysa sa Presidente ng Pilipinas.. yan idol mo 6 lang na taon sa pwesto nya kung talagang maasyos at maganda pinaggagawa nya hindi ko sya batikusin.

        Ang mga kagaya mo nag lalong nagpapasama sa kalagayan ng bansa. kahit mali na ang ginagawa ng Presidente sinasangayunan mo pa. kaya ayan kahit anong panloloko ng idol mo para sa kanya ok lang kasi nga alam nya bow lang kayo ng bow.. mga uto uto.. kaya umaabuso sila sa kapangyarihan nila.

        crab mental ba ang batikusin ang mali ng isang tao?

        Ang PCOS sourcce code ay importante.. paano malalaman ang mga naging transaction ng PCOS kung walang pagbabasehan record?

        kaya naiisip ko na may dayaang mangyayari.

      • etomacq

        para di obvious gawin na lang nila 10-2 or 11-1..

      • mave

        ang pangit lang kasi sa inyo gawa2x kayo istorya para naman nkakatulogn kayo sa pag unlad ng pilipinas…

      • BatangSingapore

        bugok, para umunlad ang pilipinas ay kailangan tigilan na ni abnoy ang pandaraya. kakahiya maiupo lang either si BUM AQUINO o si TINGTING mandaraya na. pweee.

      • mave

        yan naman gawa ka naman kwento wala pa nga elction nandaya na?

    • speaksoftlylove

      This has been my apprehension since the issue of the absence of source code of the hocus PCOS cropped up, long before a retired Comelec Commissioner exposed the problem. The ultimate objective of the grand design is “Failure of Elections.”

      So, the main question is: Who will benefit if the coming senatorial elections fail?

      The answer is obvious. Of course, Kulot and his tribe will continue to reign. But there will be total chaos and political upheaval and that’s the bottom line.

      • txtman

        WHY WORRY?
        PH IS STILL THE SAME
        .
        YUNG DATING GLORIA – KAMPI
        NOW, PENOY -LP
        ANDYAN PA RIN ANG VOTE BUYING
        DYNASTIES
        SO WHAT IS NEW?
        .
        WELL, MEDIA ARE NOW YELLOW LAPDOGS NGA PALA
        .
        AND WHAT IS WRONG DURING GLORIA
        IS NOW PERFECTLY RIGHT
        .
        PITIFUL

  • http://twitter.com/erncastillo ern

    No way you will go back to manual…. there could be glitches and they can be solved. Delayed transmission and other glitches is an inevitable problem. What is important is that results could be transmitted even though delayed, and that the results are correct. Even banks encounter problems on their machines.

    What namfrel should do is set up their website to do a parallel count from the precinct level. Fault finding is not helping. Your primary goal must be to ensure a successful election.

    • Magsasaka

      banks have ways in checking balances, PCOS is an easy tool for manipulation just like what happened during presidential election wherein most of the result bore earlier date, earlier than may 10 election

      • http://www.facebook.com/rodanteb1 Rodante Baguio

        hindi po kasi siguro nagchange date yung chairman ng BEI.. kaya wrong yung date ng PCOS.. check nyo muna kasi yung PCOS bago kayo mag comment…nakakahiya kasi comment ng comment sa PCOS di man lang ata nalapitan yung machine..

      • speaksoftlylove

        Di nga pwede i-check ang PCOS machines. Ang hina mong umintindi, dogyot?

      • Magsasaka

        pagpasensyahan mo na yan bro nagmamagaling pero wala namang alam hehehe

      • magiting78

        Tamaaaaa!!!!…ni hnd nga ata alam ng mga yan ano itsura ng PCOS at pano tumatakbo…para po s kaalaman nyo wala problema kht mag brown-out kc di uleng ang PCOS…mga tinamaan kau ng magaling…nag dudunung dunungan mga wala nmang alam…lol

      • Magsasaka

        mali, isa akong IT na may mahigit 15 years experience baka ikaw ang walang alam, alam mo ba kung ano ang kayang gawin ng isang simpleng script?

      • magiting78

        Really?…if you are an IT expert can you check where I am now? Total expert ka…I’ll challence you hack my user name…

      • Magsasaka

        ang tanga mo naman IT=hacker san mo natutunan yan, ito ang totoo
        magiting78=ogag hehehe

      • magiting78

        Lol…hahaha kung talagang expert ka kaya mo yun, IT expert can be a hacker but hacker can’t be an IT expert tanim mo yan sa inaamag mong utak…

      • Magsasaka

        maghintay ka lang binabasa na ng underground hacker ang mga comments mo at nayayabangan na sila sa obobs na katulad mo hehehe

      • magiting78

        Talaga??? Okay hackers…”make my day” hahaha…and why undergraound hacker why not you kala ko ba mahusay ka???…

      • Magsasaka

        tanong?maaring ba icheck ng karaniwang tao ang PCOS?sagot- hindi.
        tanong ulit, ikaw ba ay tanga na bokols pa?sagot- malaking OO nyahahahaha

    • kismaytami

      In computer technology, fault finding is the most effective way to deliver the best performance.

      • magiting78

        You cannot find error’s unless you’ve tried it…Is there anyone who tried to challence the credibility of these machines by showing that they can manipulate the result? none they just keep talking and talking…Why they don’t hire an IT expert and try to manipulate this machine and show this to commelec or to public…

      • reich engelmann

        give us the source code and we will show the public the errors, loopholes, backdoors, etc. what you are telling us is similar to asking us to review a book by just giving us the title and author, but not the text, which is the most important. why is it not challenged? because it is not online. try posting it online, and you’ll see. by making public the source code, all parties concerned may find ways to patch any errors, bugs, which will lead us towards a more secure, more credible, more reliable machine.

        i agree with “kismaytami”: it is by honestly and bravely finding faults can we produce the best that we can. it may not be perfect, but at least we did our best. it will be the product of our collective effort in which everybody will reap the rewards…or blames.

        but as long as the source code is not made known, election results will remain as doubtful as the source code.

      • magiting78

        People always find fault…but never give solution…that’s Pinoy…If they are really concerned to the credibilty of this election, why only focusing on one solution why they don’t think and give alternate solution to make it credible even in the absence of source… Is it difficult to understand the position of commelec, Smartmatic and Dominion has legal battle in US over this source code and commelec don’t have durisdiction over US court.

      • kismaytami

        I would suggest you study the basics of software engineering. How can we give solution, if we don’t have the source code to start investigating??? Think, pleeeeeeeeease!

      • kismaytami

        You make me laugh hard! Dude… Think. How can the IT community review and pinpoint the weak points of PCOS machine’s software, if the Comelec does not make the source code available for scrutiny?

      • magiting78

        That’s the point why worry about result can be manipulated, in the absence of source you cannot check or access the machine, these means machine is safe from any hacking or manipulation in the absence of source code.

    • walangdiyos

      ern what a brain. stay as a muppet ok. namfrel is just being pro-active. fault finding is a reaction to things that gone haywire. the problems with PCOS machines were there long time ago na, 2010 pa up to now. Comelec should be the one solving these problems. just think of what you are saying like delayed transmission and glitches, blah,blah, blah..how would these problems not to occur by taking measures ahead of time.

      • magiting78

        Ni resolve nman ng Commelec…ang problema sa mga tao hanap ng hanap ng problema wala nmn nilalatag na sulusyon….Sino ba sa mga nagsabing may problema ang PCOS na nag bigay ng solusyon? wala di ba? ako man ang nasa posisyon bkit ko cla pakikinggan eh wala din naman cla alam..

  • http://www.facebook.com/alfa.saclao Alfa Saclao

    namfrel….??? so, an organization funded by foreign power to rig election returns questions the reliability of untested machine…..

    i thought namfrel and pcos are brothers,..

  • Yobhtron

    PCOS is definitely more reliable than the cheating prone manual counting. I agree with @ern that accurate parallel count is a must from NAMFREL or any other organization.

  • BatangSingapore

    nakakahiya si abnoy. maipanalo lang si BUM AQUINO o kaya si TINGTING COJUANGCO mandaraya na sa darating na halalan.

  • ARRANCAR

    the hocus pocus philippine president pnoy the grand fake president who won from a dubious pcos machine were no source code had even been installed and the source code data was not even stored in the BSP vault thus the grand deception and fakery that this hocus pocus president had won the 2010 election!!

    • patrickinca

      So sino dapat nanalo par besides noynoying?

      • magiting78

        hehehe tao talaga walang mapuntahan sala sa init sala sa lamig…kahit cguro c Gibo or si Erap nanalo tyak may lalabas at lalabas n issue…

  • patrickinca

    Dont worry about the PCOS machines, Worry about the operator of the PCOS machines.

    • magiting78

      Don’t worry about the operators of these machines…Worry about Binay, JV and Jackie…if they win Philippine will be in great chaos…

      • patrickinca

        indeed. not just chaos but the country will be in self-destruct mode.

  • josephsanchez

    “Leave it to gods hands.”

    -Jamby Madrigal

  • jinx

    Walang basehan tong “worry’ ng NAMFREL. Gusto lang magpapansin at magmamagaling. Kaya nga nagkaroon ng PCOS demonstration para ma-identify at ma-rectify ang problema. Ang dapat bantayin natin yung signal jamming, na puwedeng gawin ng mga t-ranta-dong mamamayan.

  • padrefaura

    This is what we get from having a well-known election fixer as comelec chairman.

  • $44479964

    There is always doubt in the reliability of the PCOS as long as the source code remains inaccessible to stakeholders.

    • magiting78

      Everything in this world is doubtful nothing is perfect….even it has its source code people will still look for errors just to comment..

  • buttones

    Do not despair! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? NO! it’s Captain Brilliant to the rescue!!!! Our monochrome caped crusader! Drum roll please….

    • $44479964

      Yeah, a guy who does not know where to locate the Caps Lock key.

      • superpilipinas

        sure he can!!! but does he know what it is for?

  • hopeless_na

    nakapagtataka talaga. maraming walang tiwala sa mga pcos machine na gagamitin sa eleksyon pero wala silang masabi sa mga machine na ginagamit sa mga lotto outlet. yung concept ay pareho lang. pagtaya mo ng lotto, deretso na sa pcso at ganun din sa pagboto mo, deretso na rin sa comelec. dapat kasi yung mga machine na lang sa mga lotto outlet ang gagamitin sa eleksyon.

    • Fulpol

      may ticket silang ibibigay pag pumusta ka ng lotto.. sa PCOS, tinta lang daliri mo ang ibedinsya…

      LOL

      • hopeless_na

        dapat lang may tiket sa lotto kasi milyones ang premyo… pero sa pcos wala kang mapapala lalo na kung binili lang ng mga kurap na politoko ang boto mo!!!

      • magiting78

        hahahaha….natawa ako dun ah…sya nga naman pano k claim kung nanalo ko pag wala k ticket…sa election ano eki-claim mo…

  • Cerise David

    Kunin ang performance bond. How hard could that be?

  • endurex

    If elections fail in May, I think this is what constitutes real electoral sabotage.

  • superpilipinas

    Murphy’s Law:

    IF SOMETHING CAN GO WRONG, IT WILL GO WRONG.

    elections and election machines in the Philippines are good proofs of this law.

    the problem seems to be that…Comelec seems to be insensitive to this law. Otherwise, they would have easily proven that the machines are 101% reliable since last December 2012.

    • magiting78

      Is there a 100% reliable machine in this earth??????

      • superpilipinas

        you missed the point. the point is not the percentage. there is no 101%. it’s a figure of speech.

        the point is that the machine should passed tests successfully to work to expectations long before it is used. if it doesn’t work at times, the occurrence and impact should be negligible. the risks should be easily manageable. got it now?

      • magiting78

        But the point is all these machine had gone thru series of test before it was delivered, in fact they already run moc election just to see the performace of these machine and it works, although some there were malfucntioned and glitches, but the Commelec had its contegency plan they bought extra machine and CF cards incase of machine problems they have back-up…as well as commelec should not devulge their contengcy plans so that all those who had a plan to sabotage this election will not succeed.who knows what’s commelec in mind.
        My analysis on these issue those keep talking and pressuring commelec to show there emergency plans had their own agenda to sabotage this election…If they knew what commelec’s plan they can make their own counter plan…to attack.

      • superpilipinas

        He-he-he. Didn’t you read the news that a lot of problems were found during the mock elections?…and now instead of addressing the issue, Brillantes is trying to blackmail NAMFREL by disqualifying them? he-he-he.

        The series of test simply proved that the systems are not ready.

        Those contingency plans you mentioned are meaningless. They do not mitigate the risks at all. With a few machines, problems were already detected. Those contingencies will not work come election time when there are so many of these problems happening in much more machines.

        He-he-he. No one should be afraid of sabotage if the system was tested enough. That fact that they can’t reveal much simply means it is prone to problems.

        There are things that should be kept secret….like encryption keys and other security mechanisms….that’s no brainer……………..but the other things like those issues NAMFREL pointed out, inconsistencies and systemic glitches here and there, are irrelevant to sabotage.

  • Fulpol

    provide exclusive PCOS machines for Iglesia ni Cristo voters… it easy to verify and correct..

    if there is a candidate counted but not included in the list of INC candidates, the PCOS was hacked..

    LOL
    LOL
    LOL

  • Noel

    There goes US-CIA created, Catholic Church spy Namfrel again.

    • superpilipinas

      he-he-he conspiracy theories. let’s make a movie.

  • magiting78

    Asus nawala lang source code questionable n ang result eh yung mano-manong bilangan hnd questionable…..dami kase epal….kailan ba naging patas laban s pinas…pero atleast ngaun mas mabilis na….kaya kayong mga pumapapel tama na masakit n tenga ng taong bayan sa inyo…ngaun puro kau dada sa susunod n election file kau ng candidacy…pansarili nyo din isip nyo mga tinamaan kau ng kulugo…

  • mang_tomas

    Less than a month from now,
    the sovereign will of the electorates will be tested. When finally all these
    rants and raves of demagogues die down, when we reach the level of sobriety to
    plant the seed of hope once more, can we truly tell the world that by participating
    in the elections we serve the ends of democracy? Do we need PCOS machines to
    proclaim the choice of our conscience?

    Each one of us may have
    varying views leading to the preparation of the much-awaited elections. It may well be self-fulfilling to console
    our restless souls if we confront certain queries head-on:

    Have we satisfied our curiosity on the technological advancement brought about by
    the PCOS machines? Have we forgotten the issues raised by skeptics who
    conveniently paint a doomsday scenario short of saying that democracy will
    never be the same again if we allow the PCOS machines to determine the outcome
    of elections with all its perceived defects? Have we ever given much thought
    about the fact that apart from casting our future using the PCOS machines, we
    must also give up the practice of treating elections and ambitious politicians
    as our best sources for making money?

    Given the limited period of
    time, the door is still open for soul-searching!!!

  • Ako_Hiking

    So much glitches! The Comelec and even Malacanang haven’t done much to protect the honesty of the upcoming elections. There were problems in the 2010 elections and up to this date it looks like the same problems will exist. On top of that, Brillantes was planning to leave as Aquino keeps appointing his peoples to the Comelec left and right.

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