Brillantes slams Guanzon for making big fuss over script tweak
Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. criticized Commissioner Rowena Guanzon for making a big fuss over Smartmatic changing the hash code in the transparency server to correct the names of candidates with “ñ.”
“Isang commissioner, ibang papananaw ng issue. Lumalaki lalo. Akala ko ba collegial body ang Comelec?” Brillantes said in an ambush interview minutes after Guanzon hit Smartmatic in a press conference on Friday.
(A commissioner has a different take on the issue. The issue is getting more attention. I thought Comelec is a collegial body?)
An incensed Guanzon told the Smartmatic off for making changes in the codes of the server, which she emphasized as a property of the government and not of the private company, without the consent of the Comelec en banc.
However, Smartmatic technical support head Marlon Garcia reiterated that a Comelec representative and political parties present at the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) command center knew and witnessed tweaks being done in the script.
Brillantes also said that he told vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., whom he will represent in the canvassing of votes in Congress, on Thursday that the issue on the hash code is not alarming.
“In fact, I spoke to him yesterday. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘wag na kayong mag-ingay. Talagang minor lang ‘yan (I told him not to make a fuss over the matter. It’s just a minor issue),” he said.
“Kung hindi nagsalita si Bongbong, lumaki ba ito? Parang walang kwenta. Ngayon lumaki na (If Bongbong didn’t speak up on the issue, would it be a big deal? It would be a trivial issue. But now it is getting much attention),” he said.
The changing of the hash code in the transparency server triggered speculations from the Marcos camp that the unofficial counting of votes for vice presidential candidates was anomalous. Leading the race with more than 200,000 votes is Liberal Party’s Camarines Sur Rep. Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
During the press conference at the Comelec canvassing center in Pasay City, Guanzon said Smartmatic should be held accountable for breaking protocol and that the Comelec en banc would investigate the incident.
Brillantes questioned this as he explained that Smartmatic has been a partner of the Comelec and its entire system.
“Sabi iimbestigahan ang Smartmatic (She said that Smartmatic would be investigated). Eh that’s the partner of the entire system. Partner niyo ‘yan (Comelec) eh (It’s your partner, Comelec). Lahat ng galaw ng Smartmatic at Comelec pare-pareho eh (All of actions of Smartmatic and Comelec are the same),” he said. RAM/rga
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.