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NO CONCLUSION ON CREDIBILITY OF MAY 13 POLLS FOR NOW

LP still awaits Comelec explanation on 7-hour glitch – Pangilinan

/ 08:57 PM June 06, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Liberal Party will defer its own conclusion on the integrity of the recently held elections for now, as it still awaits explanation of the Commission of Elections (Comelec) on the seven-hour glitch that delayed poll results update on May 13.

Senator Francis Pangilinan, who served as campaign manager of opposition senatorial slate Otso Diretso, said this Thursday, adding that the Comelec has not released logs of the transparency server for further examination.

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“On the conduct of the May 13 elections, we continue to await a response from the Commission on Elections on several issues that it still has not been able to adequately explain, mainly the 7-hour glitch,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

“Until these are submitted we withhold drawing conclusions as to the overall conduct of the elections,” he added.

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On May 13, following the initial release of only about 0.3 percent of the total votes cast, there was a seven-hour delay in the update of election results tally boards of media outlets and poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

Following the incident, PPCRV conducted a probe and reported that the server experienced “bottleneck” after the initial release of election results.

PPCRV chairperson Myla Villanueva said the transparency server’s file transfer manager, which was supposed to transmit data from the transparency server to the PPCRV and the media, failed to complete its duty and asked the Comelec to explain the incident.

READ: PPCRV confirms ‘bottleneck’ caused 7-hour delay in updating poll results

Other election issues

Aside from the delay, Pangilinan said Comelec has also yet to grant their request for the complete list of corrupted SD (secure digital) cards and malfunctioning VCM (vote-counting machines).

“Identifying these corrupted SD cards and malfunctioning VCMs are critical as over 3 million votes were affected and in the Senate race, the difference between 9th (15,510,026 votes, final official tally) and 14th place (14,117,528, official tally as of May 20) is below 3 million at 1,392,498 votes,” Pangilinan pointed out.

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Pangilinan also questioned Comelec’s pronouncements that it was ready to hold the automated midterm polls since many problems occurred on Election Day.

“Why did they certify that the marking pens were good – only for the pens to be recalled? Why did they certify to the efficacy of the VCMs and the SD cards only for the machines to bog down and the SD cards being of poor quality in unprecedented numbers?” Pangilinan said.

“Post-election, the issue raised during the hearing of the election management staff comprising Comelec and Smartmatic personnel having the capacity to have ‘rogue’ VCMs send bogus or altered ER (election return) results needs further investigation. Did it happen in the May 2019 elections? A thorough investigation conducted by the incoming JCOC (joint congressional oversight committee) must be pursued,” he added.

The senator added that Comelec should be the one to primarily explain the problems that plagued the 2019 midterm election.

“Overall, the diminished role of Smartmatic and the expanded role of Comelec in the maintenance and operations of the AES place the onus of the various glitches on the poll body,” Pangilinan said.

READ: Duterte admin imposed fear, violated rules in 2019 polls — Pangilinan

Pangilinan also clarified that Congressman Edgar Erice was the campaign manager of Mar Roxas and not the whole Otso Diretso senatorial slate.

“He was campaign manager of Mar Roxas not of the LP Otso Diretso coalition slate and his views are personal to him and do not reflect our own as campaign manager of the entire slate,” Pangilinan said.

No one from the Otso Diretso slate succeeded in their senatorial bid during the May 13 election. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)

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