Comelec presents PCOS source codeBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) presented the controversial precinct count optical scan (PCOS) source code Thursday, making it available for review by political groups.
It was turned over by Dominion Voting Systems Inc., its US-based owner, to the Comelec led by its Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr.
The source code is the computer software that runs the PCOS machine which will receive and count the votes on election day.
“This is the end result of the hard work we have done, we settle already the credibility issue today,” Brillantes said.
“This will now set aside all the arguments that if there is no review done by political parties there can be no election, which is totally wrong,” he said.
The source code, which was saved in a CD, was copied onto a Comelec computer and then encrypted three times with separate passwords by representatives of Dominion, Comelec, and SLI Global Solutions, an international independent certifier, which reviewed the code months earlier.
The encrypted copy was then burned into another CD which was placed inside Comelec’s safety box, sealed and then placed inside a vault at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The release and review of the 2013 elections source code was delayed due to a legal dispute in the United States between Dominion and Smartmatic, the Comelec’s contractor for the automated elections system.
“Although they will not be able to finish the review [before the elections] because it arrived late, but they can review it after the elections,” Brillantes said.
Representatives from Dominion came to the country Tuesday night bringing with them the “master” source code.
Several sectors have been clamoring to have the source code reviewed in order to ensure that it will count the votes correctly.
Brillantes, however, said that the automated elections would still be valid even without a source code review, citing the 2010 automated elections where no one had sought to review it even though it was available.
After the presentation of the source code, it will be made available for review by political parties and other interest groups.