Comelec woos public’s trust in holding source code review months ahead of polls
The Commission on Elections (Comelec), cooperation with De La Salle University (Dlsu), held the public source code review for the 2016 Automated Election System (Aes) on Thursday.
Thursday’s event was led by Comelec Chair Andres Bautista who emphasized that the seven-month review for the source code was longer compared to the past reviews conducted before the 2010 and 2013 elections.
In 2010, the source code review was conducted less than a month before elections, while in 2014, the Comelec conducted the review in just four days.
“The source code review will be comprehensive so that the electorate will trust the system,” Bautista said.
Comelec’s Eden Bolo said that the objectives of the review is to verify and validate what the code was programmed to do and to ensure that there will be no malicious codes in the Aes.
The source code is the version of the software as it is originally written by a person in human-readable alpha-numeric characters.
The local source code review, which will be conducted in two parts, will be parallel to the review being conducted by SLI Global Solutions, a Colorado-based international certification company.
The two parts of the local source code review are: first, the base code review, where the base code submitted by Smartmatic to the Comelec will be scrutinized; and second, the customized code review, which is the review of the code customized for the machines used in the 2016 Philippine elections.
The review of the source code is in compliance with Section 12 of Republic Act of 9339 which states that “once an AES technology is selected for implementation, the Commission shall promptly make the source code of that technology available and open to any interested political party or groups which may conduct their own review thereof.”
Groups from the Liberal Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition, Bagong Bayan, among others were present.
Aside from an overview of the source code review process, the computer units to be used in the review were also shown to the media. Dlsu sponsored 15 units for the process.