Comelec: No way hackers can affect May 9 poll results | Inquirer News

Comelec: No way hackers can affect May 9 poll results

/ 05:30 AM March 23, 2022
Comelec logo. STORY: Comelec: No way hackers can affect May 9 poll results

Comelec logo ( stock iimage)

MANILA, Philippines — Commissioner Marlon Casquejo of the  Commission on Elections (Comelec) assured the public on Tuesday that there was “no way” hackers could manipulate the results of the May 9 polls.

The poll body conducted a demonstration of the automated elections system at Diamond Hotel in Pasay City with poll watchdogs and media participating in and observing the process.


“Our VCMs (vote-counting machines) are stand-alone at the time of voting so there’s no way that anyone using any device or with hacking knowledge can insert any results in the VCMs,” Casquejo said in a news conference after the test run.

Using test ballots, the participants cast their votes and observed the transmission of the mock election results to Comelec servers for canvassers.


According to Casquejo, VCMs are able to transmit results within seconds to the Comelec central server, backup server and transparency server.

“So there’s no way a hacker can manipulate the results during that period of seconds. This ‘hacking’ incident, what they say ‘[data] breach,’ has nothing to do with the election process [on] May 9,” he said.

Casquejo was referring to the issue raised by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Imee Marcos in Thursday’s joint congressional oversight committee hearing.

According to Marcos, an employee of elections provider Smartmatic allowed a group of hackers to copy election data from a laptop issued by the company.

But the Comelec insisted that its database was not hacked while Smartmatic said the poll body never shared election data with them.

Casquejo stressed that there were safeguards against “rogue VCMs” that would try to transmit manipulated election results to Comelec servers.

After an alleged incident of vote-buying was reported on Tuesday in Dasmariñas, Cavite, the poll body said it would form a task force to investigate such cases.


“Definitely, the Comelec can investigate. The Comelec can always direct its personnel to submit reports and we will have a task force to take immediate action,” Commissioner George Garcia said.

He and other officials of the poll body were asked to react to news reports that Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, who was seeking reelection, gave away cash prizes at a campaign rally he had hosted for presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and running mate Davao Mayor Sara Duterte earlier in the day.

Garcia, a former election lawyer before his appointment to the poll body, said he could not comment on the incident involving Remulla since he had yet to see the video of the incident.

“As a former practitioner, the problem is usually a politician will get a very good lawyer who will see loopholes in the law. So it’s easy for people to say it’s vote-buying but when [the case is] appreciated by the commission, it’s not vote-buying after all,” he added.

“We will not immediately jump to conclusions. But definitely, and this is a commitment of the commission, we will look into that, not only this incident you mentioned, but many such incidents monitored by the commission,” Garcia said.


Breach or no breach, Comelec should explain

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 elections, Comelec hacking
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.