MANILA, Philippines—Why the drama?
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Friday downplayed the petition to have him cited for contempt by the Supreme Court for supposedly barring former Sen. Richard Gordon from reviewing the source code used in the 2013 automated elections.
Brillantes said Gordon and his political party, Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines, can still review the source code used by the precinct count optical scan machines.
However, the Comelec chief also noted that the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), under which Gordon ran in the last elections, had already finished its review of the source code.
“Isn’t he part of UNA? I don’t know what drama he’s doing and he wants a separate (review). UNA has finished its review. What now is his intention?” Brillantes said in an interview.
“(But) there’s no problem because we are not hiding anything. We had (previously) invited Gordon to join us but he did not come,” Brillantes said in an interview.
“He can review the source code as long as he follows the requirements like identifying who would conduct the review and their technicians,” he added.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Comelec and Brillantes to reply to Gordon’s petition asking the tribunal to cite the poll body for indirect contempt.
Gordon, who ended up in 13th place behind 12th placer and party mate Gregorio Honasan, claimed that Brillantes reneged on his commitment made during oral arguments in May that Bagumbayan would be allowed to review the source code.
“The commitment I made is to allow him to look at the source code but it is not an unconditional statement. He is always invited to come anytime he likes for as long as he complies with the requirements,” Brillantes said.
Under Comelec rules, those who will conduct the actual review of the source code must have at least a four-year bachelor’s degree related to information technology and five year’s experience in computer systems development, specializing in computer systems security.