Brillantes lashes out at Comelec arch-critics

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Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Commission on Elections Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Thursday lashed out at the poll body’s critics as the final testing and sealing (FTS) of all the 78,000 automated machines to be used in the May 13 elections began without any major glitch.

Brillantes said there was an “orchestrated plan” among Comelec critics—naming former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman, former Economic Planning Secretary Solita Monsod, and the Automated Election System (AES) Watch among them—to “destroy” the credibility of the coming elections but that the results of the initial FTS yesterday showed that they were wrong.

“I’m saying that the final testing and sealing went smoothly. We’ve already predicted that there won’t be any problem. All of those that happened in 2010, we’ve already corrected,” Brillantes, who was at the Gotamco Elementary School in Pasay City  on Friday said.

No repeat of 2010

“Now, this (the initial FTS results) is the proof that we made corrections. What happened in 2010 was not repeated,” he said.

“If there is a major hitch while I’m here, I’ll know what to do on Election Day.”

He added that if he were the jinx, “I’ll go to America so that our elections would go smoothly.”

In 2010, the Comelec had to recall 76,000 compact flashcards that the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines were to use for the elections after holding an FTS.

Yesterday, the Comelec held the FTS in at least 10 percent of the 77,829 clustered precincts in the country and declared that no major problem was reported.

Brillantes disclosed that that 60 percent of the precincts would conduct their FTS on May 6.

 

Manual count

Brillantes inspected Precinct 24 at the Gotamco Elementary School, where a manual count was conducted to find out if the results tallied with the machine count. Those in charge at first did not plan to conduct a manual count but Brillantes ordered them to do so.

Geraldine Milo, chair of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) for Precinct 24, said the manual and machine counts tallied, while noting that there was one “overvote” for the party-list groups and the city council.

After the testing of the PCOS machines, they were sealed and brought to the school library, where they will be put under guard, to be reopened only on election day.

“We really expected that they would tally. If there will be any discrepancy, these would be very few. I hope this will also happen in other parts of the country so that our detractors and critics would tone down their language,” Brillantes said.

Source code

The Comelec chief denied allegations of critics that there was no source code for the PCOS machines, and that safeguards like digital signatures and ultra violet (UV) light to detect fake ballots were removed.

Brillantes said there was a source code for the PCOS machines but this would not be available for review by political parties because this cannot be released due to the corporate fight between PCOS provider Smartmatic International and Dominion Voting System.

“The digital signature should be the signature of the BEIs but the Supreme Court said the digital signature of the machines is enough. The Supreme Court said it was enough and that is what we are going to follow,” Brillantes said.

“And then they say there are no UV lights. In 2010, there was none but now there is. Why do they keep on saying there’s none? It distorts the mind of the people at this point,” he added.

‘Mean’ accusation

Brillantes scored in particular Lagman for saying that “something might still happen” between the time the PCOS machines were sealed and Election Day.

“That is so mean. We are now being accused of cheating? I think it’s the worst kind of accusation that a former commissioner can do,” Brillantes said.

“I think he is already so desperate for the elections not to proceed to say that there would be cheating in the last week (before the elections) and the only ones that could cheat is Comelec and Smartmatic,” he added.

Brillantes said Comelec critics were becoming louder in their criticisms because “they don’t want the elections to proceed.”

“They don’t want the elections to proceed so that they can say, ‘See, we were right.’ But we have contingency plans that you (Lagman) don’t know about because you did not visit us after you left Comelec,” he said.

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  • Guest

    Don’t mind the critics. If you are convinced that everything is in order, so be it.People, especially the fraudulent ones, will try to throw mud. The only corruption that can happen now is vote-buying, but that is outside the PCOS itself. Thank you, mr Brillantes. You have my trust. Now it is up to the voters. THINK TWICE, VOTE WISE!!. NO to dynasties and corruption. Don’t sell your votes, because you are selling your country and your future!!

    • $14334231

      and most of all…VOTE ONCE, ONLY!!!!…..

    • catherine sien

      marami pong salamat etude 57. dapat po lahat na pilipino katulad ninyo. maayos po ang pag iisip.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003387995101 Isabel Juico

    Brillantes … No matter what you say .. You are corrupted too… HOCUS PCOS 2010 … Now the same fraud will happen in 2013 … Now you are had !!!
    LP 0-12 vote …. NO VOTE ALL HEPANOYS !!!!

    • राजकमल किराम

      NO VOTE ALL HEPANOYS !!!!

    • Observer_din

      si Brillantes na ang COMELEC chair noong 2010? tagasaan ka ba at di mo alam na si Gloria pa ang presidente noong 2010 election at hindi pa si Brillantes ang chairman noon, papayag ba si Gloria na dayain ang halalan para si PNOY ang maupo at ipakulong siya? konting isip naman.

      • catherine sien

        hindi po siya ang chairman noong 2010 para po alam lang ninyo.

      • Observer_din

        alam ko po, kaya nga tinatanong ko si Isabel sa taas, kasi sinasabi niya nag HOCUS PCOS daw si brillantes noong 2010. pakibasa at pakiintindi lang po ng maayos ang post ko. :)

      • catherine sien

        sorry po. misread. thank you po.

  • noypisiTED

    Tama si Manong Sixto. Etong si Gus Lagman nabigyan ng pagkakataon na gawin ang mga nirereklamo nya ngayon sa COMELEC, anong ginawa nya? Blabbermouth din ang mamang ito.

    • juan_luisjr

      wala siyang ginawa !

    • Observer_din

      meron naman nagawa, ang mag-ingay at mangulo.

      • catherine sien

        oo nga po. at nandadamay pa po.

    • catherine sien

      tama po kayo.

  • juan_luisjr

    a few weeks before the may election of 2010, then Sen Gordon who was the author of the electronic voting law said amidst rumors of NOEL, more or less in these words ” people are saying that we are not capable of holding an honest and credible electronic election. I dont believe this. I believe that the filipino people can rise up and make this happen.” 2010 is over and we had a credible election. Only those who ran and lost and remained bitter insist till today that the 2010 election was rigged.

    We made the 2010 election a success and we can do it again. Yes, let us be vigilant, as some forum reactors said, dont sell our votes and vote wisely. I believe in the integrity and competence of PPCRV and the filipino people. Despite the somewhat 1 man show tendencies of brillantes , dont let the doomsayers have their day. We can do it and we will be able to do it again this 2013. Let’s pray together for HOPE.

  • disqusted0fu

    Don’t be too quick to lash out, Mr. Brillantes, it is only the initial FTS. It is better to shut it first because there still might be glitches as you go along with the FTS. Besides, the credibility of this upcoming elections will still be questionable because the “source code” is “not available” for review. We’ll never know.

    • Observer_din

      sino magre-review? walang mapagkakatiwalaang partido sa pilipinas para magreview ng source code, pag nakita ng mga me intensyong mandaya yan madali na nilang imanipula, pwede siguro kung foreign entity ang gagawa at least alam nating independent.

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