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Bayan claims: Automated polls ‘vulnerable to tampering’

/ 02:18 PM May 10, 2016
mindanao election

Residents cast their votes Monday, May 9, 2016 inside a polling center in Shariff Aguak Elementary School in Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao. The legal counsel of UNA reported that nearly a thousand pre-shaded ballots were discovered by their volunteers in Datu Saudi town in Maguindanao.PHOTO BY JEOFFREY MAITEM / INQUIRER MINDANAO

Despite posting a record 95.15 percent of transmission of election results just 17 hours after polls closed, militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) slammed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and technology provider Smartmatic for conducting elections it claimed are “unreliable” and “vulnerable to tampering.”

In a statement, Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said that the figures regarding the transmission of election returns released by Comelec are inaccurate as these do not reflect the returns manually uploaded at the city or municipal canvassing levels.

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“Comelec and Smartmatic should disclose how many ER’s were actually transmitted from the precincts and how many were manually uploaded at the city or municipal canvassing levels after they failed to transmit from the precincts,” Reyes said.

“The whole process remains unreliable and even vulnerable to tampering. The data that 88% of ER’s were transmitted is also misleading as many ER’s were manually uploaded,” he added.

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He also lamented shelling out P2.5 billion for what he described as the “same unreliable and problematic automated elections.”

“On [its third] elections, Smartmatic has given us more of the same unreliable and problematic automated elections, which by the way, we paid for again with at least P2.5 billion pesos in rental fees. Smartmatic’s foreign officials should be made to explain these problems to the Filipino taxpayers and voters who sweated and queued in polling precincts on May 9,” he said.

Hours after polls closed, Comelec reported that 2,363 out of the 92,509 precincts re­ported problems with vote counting machines.

Also, Smartmatic reported that only 143 VCMs conked out on Monday, representing 0.15 percent of the total 92, 509 machines.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is poised to become the country’s 16th president with more than 90 percent of the votes transmitted. CDG/rga

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TAGS: Automated elections, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Comelec, Commission on Elections, Elections 2016, Smartmatic, tampering, VCM, vote counting machine, Votes
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