More doubts raised about poll results
Information technology (IT) experts have observed a strange “pattern” of votes obtained by administration, opposition and independent senatorial candidates in the May 13 elections.
The IT experts have been linking with election watchdogs throughout the country to validate the so-called “60-30-10” pattern in which senatorial candidates from Team PNoy consistently obtained 60 percent, those from the United Nationalist Alliance 30 percent and the rest 10 percent of the votes cast in various precincts.
The experts, however, are not making claims that the results were manipulated. Neither have they accused the Commission on Elections (Comelec), its automation service provider Smartmatic Corp. or any individual or group of conspiracy.
The “60-30-10” theory was attributed to Ateneo professor Lex Muga, who studied the senatorial tallies from the first to the 16th canvass reports released by the Comelec sitting as the national board of canvassers (NBOC).
On the average, Muga said the 12 Team PNoy candidates gained 59.12 percent, the nine UNA candidates 31.36 percent and the rest 9.7 percent.
“Note that the COCs (certificates of canvass) are supposed to be received randomly. But we still have an interesting pattern,” he said in a public status update on his Facebook account on Sunday.
Muga said COCs from different provinces received by the NBOC should not generate the same pattern of votes for the three groups of candidates but should show some variation.
In a television interview, the Ateneo professor said one possible explanation of the pattern was that the Team PNoy campaign had been so effective that its candidates practically won in every province and UNA was left without a bulwark.
“My impression is that the campaign of Team PNoy for a 12-0 sweep nationwide was effective. I don’t know how they did it but it was effective. UNA [candidates] had no stronghold. [Their votes] were scattered,” he said.
Blogger Conrad Miguel Gozalo (www.radarsweep.com) also published his analysis of the voting pattern, which was similar to Muga’s.
Gozalo, however, used the senatorial votes in 11 intervals released beginning about 10 p.m. of May 13 by the news website Rappler.com, which has a mirror transparency server as the Comelec’s official media partner in the elections.
“After seeing the outcome of our work, I was initially convinced that the allegations of a [60-30-10 pattern] were indeed true [based on] our own findings),” Gozalo said.
He called on other IT experts to use his data to find out if there were other trends.
Pablo Manalastas, IT consultant of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance, said the 60-30-10 pattern could be proven by checking the smaller populations of voters, such as precinct and municipal results.
“If in those results you see a 60-30-10 pattern, then there is probably a conspiracy. But if you see wild fluctuations that are attributable to differing local preferences, then there may be no conspiracy,” he said.
Law of large numbers
Manalastas also recalled the law of large numbers in statistics, which describes the result of performing the same experiment many times.
According to the law, the average of the results from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value and will tend to become closer as more trials are performed.
“Our election is like some big experiment in which the electoral choices of the people are determined. Naturally, the bigger the number of votes canvassed, the closer you get to the true will of the people,” Manalastas said.
He said the correct test to determine a conspiracy was not to check the national averages to see how close to 60-30-10 one could get “because this is exactly what the law of large numbers tells us that we will get.”
The more correct indicator of a conspiracy, he said, was “if we get the same 60-30-10 figures in a precinct-by-precinct comparison, provided that the precinct figures were used to get the national canvass.”
Muga agreed, saying the Comelec should release the complete ERs (election returns), which are electronic precinct-based results.
About 23 percent of the ERs failed to enter the servers of the Comelec, of its citizens’ arm (the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting) and of Rappler due to malfunctioning precinct count optical scan machines and transmission problems.
“There is a need to study more thoroughly the 2013 election data. I hope Comelec will make these public 100 percent. We need to study the different ERs. It has four versions. The printed copies, those sent to municipal BOCs, those sent to central servers and those sent to the transparency servers. First question: ‘Are they the same for each precinct?’” Manalastas said.
Comelec to study pattern
On Thursday, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. told reporters that the Comelec’s IT department was studying Muga’s analysis.
“I’m having our people study it to see if it’s true, although initially, it seems there is that kind of pattern. We’re still checking it and looking into the basis. We’ll not make a conclusion yet. They said there was a pattern. I don’t know if it’s a pattern. We’ll wait for our IT department’s report,” Brillantes said.
Lingganay Han Kamatuoran, media group of the Eastern Visayas chapter of the militant Promotion of Church Peoples Response, said the pattern was also evident in the Tacloban City COC, which represents 189 clustered precincts.
“The total senatorial votes in Tacloban indicated an interestingly similar 60-30-10 pattern of vote-sharing. Specifically, Team PNoy bets enjoyed a 60.90-percent share of total senatorial votes while UNA bets had 29.66 percent and Makabayan [and] all other independent candidates got 9.44 percent of senatorial votes,” the group said in a public status update on its Facebook account.
Rick Bahague of the Computer Professionals Union also shared on Facebook a chart of the Bohol COC showing voting results from 18 towns, which he described as “amazing.”
“Boholanos seem to have been genetically modified. They voted the same. The rank of the senators is almost the same in all the towns,” he said in a public status update.
In another update, he said “[t]he teachers should spank the voters in the municipalities of Bohol because they apparently copied from one another.”
Bahague created another chart using COCs from Eastern, Central and Western Visayas sent to the NBOC. He said the pattern was the same, which he likened to “shirt stripes.”
Evangelical leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva, meanwhile, urged the Aquino administration to create a “truth commission” to investigate the alleged irregularities in the recent automated elections.
“We call on the government to create an independent investigative body to look into the automated election system that was plagued by numerous technical glitches that might have disenfranchised millions of voters,” Villanueva, who lost in the senatorial elections, said in a statement.—With a report from Philip C. Tubeza