Comelec to charge destroyers of CF cards
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday vowed to prosecute persons found to have deliberately destroyed the compact flash (CF) cards of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used during the recently concluded midterm elections.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the CF cards—which are used to store data in computers, digital cameras and other gadgets—had become a target of those who wanted to sabotage the elections.
The PCOS machines use special CF cards to store encrypted election results, which are then transmitted to the National Board of Canvassers.
Brillantes said the broken CF cards could be a reason for the delays in transmission.
“If I don’t want the results from one PCOS to come out, I will destroy the CF card so nothing will be transmitted,” Brillantes told reporters.
“If you destroy a CF card, that is actually destroying election paraphernalia. It is very, very significant and important. I think it will fall under an election offense … that is like destroying election documents,” he said.
During the elections, part of the Comelec’s contingency plan was to have the CF cards brought to the municipal or city level if a certain PCOS machine in a certain precinct could not transmit the election results.
Brillantes, however, said he had yet to receive an official report of persons who committed such an act.
“I have not yet received an official report but I think we have such cases since there were CF cards that did not function. I don’t know if those were naturally corrupted or if the damage was caused by delivery problems,” he said, adding that the Comelec was not discounting the possibility that some CF cards provided by the supplier were defective.
Brillantes noted that there were relatively fewer reported cases of broken CF cards during the first automated elections in 2010.
“Hindi pa nila naiintindihan kasi noon pero ngayon everybody is talking about the CF card kaya sabi ko may nagkukwento ng puwedeng magalaw yang CF card… so natututo yung iba na pwede pala natin nakawin, puwede sirain (“The significance of the CF cards then were not yet properly understood, but now everybody is talking about CF cards … that’s why there are those saying that it can be destroyed),” Brillantes said.
Meanwhile, Brillantes said he might consider resigning if his critics would be able to prove that there were errors in the results of the 2010 and 2013 automated elections.
But when asked about calls from AES Watch that he resign over problems encountered during the automated elections last week, Brillantes said:
“Nanaman? Hindi ako magre-resign pag sila magpapa-resign sa akin. (Again? I won’t resign if they are the ones who want me to resign.) I’m not threatening them. They have been undermining the elections for last four years. It’s about time they explained themselves. I want to see evidence that there were errors in the results of the 2010 and 2013 elections. If they can prove it, I’ll probably think about resigning but it’s not because of them but because there was something wrong.”
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