Probe of PCOS failure to transmit 2013 poll data from 18K precincts backed
Lawyer and former Biliran congressman Glenn Chong has supported Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s call to Commission on Elections chair Andres Bautista to explain why more than 18,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan machines failed to transmit results during the 2013 mid-term elections.
“Senator Enrile should dig deeper and not simply bite the explanation of the Comelec and [PCOS manufacturer and automation service provider] Smartmatic Corp. hook, line and sinker,” Chong said in a statement posted on his Facebook page on Thursday.
At the Commission on Appointments hearing on Wednesday, Enrile asked for the deferment of the confirmation of Bautista and Commissioner Sheriff Abas, pending Bautista’s submission of a written report on the failure of PCOS machines to transmit.
Chong, a convener of the poll watchdog Citizens for Clean and Credible Elections, believes the PCOS machines’ failure to transmit was the fault of cheaters and manipulators who found a way to jam the machines’ signal and prevent them from transmitting vote tallies to various canvassing servers.
He said election cheaters and manipulators employ jamming for two reasons.
“By jamming the signals and preventing the timely electronic transmission of results, a losing local candidate can prevent the conclusion of official canvassing and buy precious time to catch up with the leading candidate with the connivance of the teachers (acting as board of election inspectors) and an army of flying voters roving and voting alternately in pre-determined precincts,” he said.
This method of manipulation has been ideal in places where the elections have been closely contested by candidates, he added.
Chong also said that by jamming the signals, a failure to transmit would necessitate, under Comelec protocol, for the compact flash (CF) card—the functional equivalent of the ballot box—to be enclosed and sealed in official form and brought to the Municipal Consolidation and Canvassing System.
“Since the CF card is so small, easily switching it with a bogus one is facilitated by its relatively small size and the dark conditions of the night inhibiting visibility and apprehension of the automated version of ballot switching,” he said.
The former congressman cited Comelec data showing that in 2013, the number of precincts unable to transmit results jumped to one in every four precincts (18,486) from just one in every 10 precincts (6,840) in the 2010 elections.
“Many politicians and independent election operators must have, by then, known that even automated elections can be manually manipulated with a fair degree of success,” he said.
Chong was congressman of Biliran from 2007 to 2010 under the Liberal Party. He ran but was defeated in the 2010 and 2013 congressional races. Jerome Aning
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