Comelec denies alleged early transmission of ERs in May 2022 polls | Inquirer News

Comelec denies alleged early transmission of ERs in May 2022 polls

/ 07:25 PM November 14, 2023
The Comelec MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday denied the allegations of former Department of Information and Communications Technology chief Eliseo Rio Jr. that there was an early transmission of election returns (ERs) in the May 9 national elections last year.

Rio’s new allegations surfaced after the publication of 2022 election telco logs from Globe and Smart on Comelec’s official website.

In a statement, the Comelec addressed Rio’s claim that “a total of 7,975 Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) transmitted ERs from 1:15:00 p.m. to 7:09:00 p.m. on May 9, 2022 (Election Day), before being received in the Comelec Transparency Server at 7:08:50 p.m. according to the Reception Logs.”

comelec statement

Comelec denied the allegation and emphasized that the connection reflected and recorded on the Globe telco log at 1 p.m. on May 9 was between the Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBOC)-Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS) and the National Board of Canvassers-CCS, not the transmission of ERs.

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“Thereafter, at 1:00 p.m., a CCS connection from the MBOC was identified, which was caused by the CCS power-up that triggered the network activity that created the telco logs,” the Comelec said, stressing that the connection does not equate to ER transmission.

Comelec statement

Comelec statement

The Globe telco log showed that the first transmission of ERs to the Transmission Router was at 7:08 p.m.

Comelec said that this was consistent with the Reception Logs involving 1,191 VCMs, not 7,975 VCMs, contrary to Rio’s claim.

Moreover, Comelec explained that based on Smart telco log, the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) and MBOCs from Alabel, Sagay City, Agoo, and Agoncillo were active from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same day as part of connectivity protocol.

“The volume of traffic indicated in the telco log refers not to election data but rather to network data needed to monitor the status of the SD-WAN device,” Comelec said.

There were also two network traffic events indicated in Smart’s telco log: network monitoring traffic before 7 p.m. and election results network traffic after 7 p.m.

Comelec then reiterated that VCMs can only connect and send data using validated and authenticated digital certificates.

“Lastly, even if the CCS is already connected to the election network, a firewall renders impossible any transmission before 7:00 p.m. because the same restricts and validates the authenticity of the ER transmission, which can only be done after the closing of polls,” the Comelec pointed out.

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TAGS: 2022 elections, Comelec, DICT, Elections

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