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Smartmatic: We have always observed Comelec rules

/ 01:00 PM May 17, 2016

Election technology provider Smartmatic has maintained that it has followed the rules laid out by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) amid an uproar caused by the unauthorized change in the script of the Comelec’s transparency server by one of its employees.

Smartmatic Philippines voters’ education head Atty. Karen Jimeno said that the typographical change, which the poll body has deemed to be “cosmetic” and did not affect election results, was made with the supervision of an officer from the Comelec’s information technology department.

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READ: Will heads roll in Smartmatic’s protocol breach in script tweak?

“I think first before we make accusations, we need facts. There would not have been a change if not for a member of Comelec putting in the password because on the day that the typographical error was corrected, a Comelec ITD officer was also present and in fact, it was the Comelec officer that typed in the password in order for Smartmatic to make the change,” Jimeno told reporters on Tuesday.

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She said that it was Comelec, not Smartmatic, “that runs the show.”

“But even in the elections since day 1, Smartmatic has really observed the rules of Comelec. Very clear naman yan eh. There are always guidelines. There have always been rules na kailangan (necessary to) i-follow in order to implement the project. So it really is Comelec that runs the show, not Smartmatic,” she said.

The lawyer also said that Smartmatic is willing to face any probe that will be conducted regarding the unauthorized script tweak, which changed the character “?” to “ñ” in some of the candidates’ names.

“Smartmatic is willing to participate and cooperate in whatever investigation and (do) whatever is necessary. What’s really important here is transparency and credibility of the elections,” Jimeno added.

On Monday, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon asked the Comelec en banc to direct Smartmatic to bar any of its team members from leaving the country until its investigation on the issue has ended.

READ: Guanzon seeks hold departure memo vs Smartmatic personnel

The script tweak issue was used by the camp of vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as proof that he was being cheated. Marcos is currently locked in a neck and neck race with administration vice presidential candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

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Robredo leads Marcos with more than 200,000 votes, according to the latest Comelec partial, unofficial tally. RAM/rga

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TAGS: Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, Comelec, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, Commission on Elections, Elections 2016, script, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Smartmatic, tweak
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