Brillantes blames telcos anew for failure to transmit results

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Some 18,000 automated machines failed to transmit results to the transparency server of the Commission on Elections, Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Thursday.

Brillantes said this was because most of the 18,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines—about 23 percent of the 78,000 used in the May 13 midterm elections—were deployed in areas that did not have a signal.

He said only “a very few” automated counting machines failed to transmit their results due to “corrupted” compact flash cards.

“I’m not saying that it’s the telco problem. They tell us what is their coverage (but) I can tell them that their coverage cannot be more than 75 percent. I’m sure of that,” Brillantes said.

Globe Telecom denied claims that a weak signal was one of the causes for the delayed transmission of election results.

“Insofar as Globe is concerned we are fully compliant with the requirements set by Smartmatic (technology provider of the Comelec).

“In areas where we were asked to provide transmission services, Globe did not receive any transmission-related concern from the national support center of Smartmatic,” Globe spokesperson Yoly Crisanto said in a statement sent to the Inquirer.

“Our technical people were available round the clock during and immediately after the elections to provide support or respond to any transmission-related concern,” she said.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) earlier said in a statement that its mobile networks, including those of Smart and Sun Cellular, “were fully functional throughout the exercise.”

Brillantes said the Comelec knew about the areas that did not have a signal even before the elections and so the agency had prepared for the CF (compact flash) cards of the PCOS machines in these areas to be manually brought to their respective municipal board of canvassers (MBOCs) for transmission.

“We knew those who had no signal so we already prepared to have (their CF cards) taken to the MBOC (for transmission to the national board of canvassers),” Brillantes said.

Because of this, the national board of canvassers’ official count in Manila was able to receive around 99 percent of the election results while the transparency server, used for the unofficial count, received only around 76 percent.

“Our concern is the official count and not the unofficial count in the transparency,” Brillantes said.

He said the Comelec would come out with a report next week to explain the delays in the canvassing of the results of the 2013 midterm elections.

“As soon as we finish the [counting for the] party-list [elections], we will be coming out with a report and I will make a personal report about what happened,” Brillantes said.—With a report from Miguel R. Camus

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