Losing party-list asks SC to probe gaps in Comelec, PPCRV counts

/ 04:06 PM December 15, 2016
PPCRV / MAY 12 2016 Parish Pastoral Council for Resposinble Voting Volunteers manually audit the receipt of election results at their command center in Pope Pius, Manila. INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

PPCRV / MAY 12 2016 Parish Pastoral Council for Resposinble Voting volunteers manually audit the receipts of election results at their command center in Pope Pius, Manila.  INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA — The Confederation of Non-Stocks Savings and Loan Associations Inc. (Consla) sought the intervention of  the Supreme Court on Wednesday to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to look into the discrepancy between its official count and the parallel quick count conducted by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) during the May 9 elections.

The count was aired through GMA-7.


The group asked the Supreme Court to order the release of results from the random manual audit on 715 vote counting machines  (VCMs) and asked that the source codes and hash codes that were certified on January 26, 2016, February 9, 2016 and February 11, 2016 be subjected to an independent audit by information and technology experts.

Consla was one of the 115 party-list groups that ran in the election but did not make the final cut because they did not get enough votes to make them eligible for at least one seat in the House of Representatives.


In a 20-page petition, the Consla representative, retired Philippine Air Force Col. Ricardo L. Nolasco, Jr. , said: “It appears that there were large discrepancies between the votes for Consla  as reported by the quick count conducted by the PPCRV, and broadcast through periodic updates of GMA-7 News and Public Affairs among other networks, and the official canvassing results determined by the Comelec.”

Consla sought the high court’s help  after it stumbled on glaring inconsistencies between the Comelec count and the PPRCV quick count that the poll watchdog refused to look into. It claimed that the Comelec  Information Technology Department only gave a brief explanation of the discrepancies. It also cited conflicting explanations from PPCRV, which initially stressed that its results were unofficial while PPCRV  lawyer Howard Calleja claimed that numbers posted on the group’s Twitter account came from other sources and not the Transparency Server.

Consla urged the high tribunal to issue a writ of mandamus to force the Comelec to look into its complaints.

It blamed the Comelec’s decision to grant PPCRV exclusive access to the Transparency Server (where election results are transmitted and tabulated) as the reason for the discrepancies in the quick count. PPCRV admitted that they encountered connectivity issues during the transmission of votes after the elections but noted that the issue had been properly addressed.

In a previous statement, Consla lawyer Jose Emmanuel G. Hernandez said the PPCRV failed to address what he claimed was  “vote manipulation” as a result of its  failure to monitor errors during its quick count operations.  SFM/rga

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TAGS: 2016 elections, Automated elections, Commission on Elections, Confederation of Non-Stocks Savings and Loan Associations Inc., courts, discrepancies in vote count, Election, GMA-7, hash codes, Howard Calleja, Jose Emmanuel G. Hernandez, litigation, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, party-list election, Random Manual Audit, Ricardo L. Nolasco Jr., source codes, Supreme Court, transparency servers, trials, vote counting machines, writ of mandamus
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