Bongbong to Smartmatic: Explain why you backed out of hearing
Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. asked Smartmatic, the election technology provider for the May 9 national polls, to explain why they backed out of the Senate hearing on the alteration of the script in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) transparency survey.
“With the hearing intending to clarify the alteration of the script in the transparency server, which impacts significantly on the sanctity and integrity of the electoral system, Smartmatic officials owe the public a clearer explanation, rather than a cursory excuse, why they can’t participate,” Marcos said in a statement on Thursday.
The senator said it was “unfortunate” that the hearing was unable to push through.
“I hope Smartmatic would not make similar excuses should another hearing be scheduled. Otherwise, it would give more ground to concerns that the alteration of the script did cause more than just a cosmetic change,” he added.
The hearing was supposed to tackle the changes in the script introduced to the transparency server, an issue which Marcos had complained of.
The senator is in a close fight with Camarines Sur Rep. Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo for the vice presidency. Based on the partial and unofficial count of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, Robredo is leading by some 200,000 votes over Marcos.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, who heads the joint congressional oversight committee on the automated election system, said on Wednesday that the supposed hearing on Thursday was cancelled because Smartmatic gave a last minute notice that they could not make it.
Comelec earlier said that the “cosmetic change” in the script—the correction of the spelling of a candidate’s name—would not affect the results of the votes. RAM/rga
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