Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Final Report of the Joint Forensic Team on the PCOS machines found in Antipolo



June 9, 2010

The Hon. JUAN PONCE ENRILE
Senate President
Senate of the Philippines

The Hon. PROSPERO NOGRALES
Speaker of the House
House of Representatives

Re: Final Report of the Joint Forensic Team

The Hon. Senate President and Hon. Speaker of the House:

On June 7, 2010, the Joint Forensic Team submitted to the Joint Canvassing Committee its Preliminary Report covering the period of June 4-7, 2010.
The forensic analysis of the PCOS machine continued on the evening of June 7, 2010 until the following day, June 8, 2010. Thus, there were new material findings which were not included in the said Preliminary Report.
Hence, the Joint Forensic Team is submitting its Final Report to the JCC, by way of the letter-report.
The contents of the Preliminary Report, dated June 7, 2010, are deemed incorporated in this letter -report, unless otherwise specified.

Period of Forensic Analysis.
The forensic analysis was conducted from June 4-5, 2010 at the A. Padilla Hall of the Senate of the Philippines and on June 7, 2010 at the Smartmatic warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna. The said analysis was continued on June 8, 2010 at the A. Padilla Hall of the Senate of the Philippines and terminated at 6:33PM of the same date.
Considering that the JCC was adjourned on June 8, 2010, the mandate of the Joint Forensic Team was considered terminated on the same date, too.

Extracted Hash Code Did Not Match Published Hash Code.
The hash codes is an output of an algorithmic process that will verify if an electronic file is authentic or not. The hash code of an electronic file is always unique - it would change if the content of that electronic file is modified. The hash code is to an electronic file as the fingerprint or DNA is to humans.
The hash codes for the firmware [footnote 1] residing in six (6) PCOS [footnote 2] machines were extracted and found to have exactly the same SHA256 output -
4e1d 993a 8d91 2b00 b75c 0d11 d1f6 aa02
a579 e059 e308 48c0 8f0f 30da 9342 d877
However, a thorough comparison with the official document posted in the website of the COMELEC revealed that the published hash code is not the same as the extracted hash code. Belatedly, the COMELEC representative confirmed that the extracted hash code is the correct one and that the published has code was erroneous.

Absence of Machine Digital Signatures.
Examination of the PCOS machines revealed that there was no evidence found to prove the existence of digital certificates in the PCOS machines, contrary to the claims of Smartmatic. The technicians of Smartmatic were not able to show to the forensic team the machine version of the digital signature, alleging that they do not have the necessary tool to show the same. More so, they were at a quandary as to how to extract the said machine signatures - to the dismay of the forensic team.
If there are digital certificates then these were supposed to be revealed. The forensic team tried to extract the digital signatures but to no avail. Hence, the forensic team is of the opinion that there exists no digital signatures in the PCOS machine.

PCOS Machine Can Be Controlled Through Its Console Port.
The PCOS machine contains a console port [footnote3], which Smartmatic claimed is only a one-way output port, used for diagnostics purposes only. The forensic team, with the allowance of Smartmatic technicians, was able to connect an ordinary laptop computer to the console port of a PCOS machine, via a serial cable provided by the latter.
To the surprise of everyone, the serially connected laptop computer was able to access the operating system of the PCOS machine. Furthermore, the connection was done in an unsecure manner - meaning no username and password was required by the PCOS machine.
The Linux operating system of the PCOS machine was exposed to full access and control via the externally connected laptop computer through its "sash" interface [footnote4]. The "sash" is a command-line interface that allows the user to interact with the PCOS machine.
One can readily issue Unix shell commands (similar to Windows C:\> prompt command line) and take control of the operations of the PCOS machine. The same access can tap the PCOS machine's on-board Random Access Memory (RAM) as a RAM Disk for data swapping and temporary date storage.
This discovery was (and still is ) a major vulnerability of the PCOS machine - which could be exploited to manipulate the actual operations of the PCOS machine - and which should be an utmost concern for election critics and watchdogs.
Smartmatic cannot offer a technical explanation for this major loophole.

Hon. Anne Susano's CF Cards.
The Joint Forensic Team accommodated the request of Hon. Anne Susano (Congresswoman, Quezon City) to subject the CF cards in her possession to forensic analysis.
The forensic team copied her three (3) CF cards and analyzed its file contents. The forensic team is of the opinion that the three (3) CF cards, one (1) of which is a main CF card, are all authentic CF cards, meaning they are all originals and duly issued by Smartmatic or COMELEC.
This finding would then belie the announcement of the COMELECT NCR Director that all the CF cards within Metro Manila had all been accounted for and turned over to COMELEC.

Final Recommendations.
The Recommendations and Conclusions, as embodied in the Preliminary Report remain standing except for Item No. 1, which should now read, as follows:
"1. To allow the forensic team to further explore the console port of the PCOS machine and perform tests as to its capabilities and vulnerabilities. For example, to allow the forensic team to store an executable code in the PCOS machine's RAM disk and verify as to how the PCOS machine will behave with such a load in its RAM."
It is further recommended that the forensic analysis of the PCOS machines be allowed and expanded by the incoming 15th Congress to include those PCOS machines which are subject of electoral protests and suspected of having been used as instruments of electoral fraud.
For your consideration and approval.

Sincerely yours,

Atty. AL. S. VITANGCOL III, CHFI
For the Joint Forensic Team


Footnotes:
1 Software version last compiled on February 4, 2010, 08:35
2 SKU 5802102, SKU 5802105, SKU5802195, SKU580226, SKU5802227, SKU5802236
3 See Annex "I" for visual appreciation
4 See Annex "J" for sample screen shots.



Annex "I"



_________


(Encoding by Jerry Ocampo )

Scanned copy of the Final Joint Forensic Team Report available at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=15830&id=131019746931245&ref=mf


Office of Sen. Jamby Madrigal (copy of final forensic report)

Jerry Ocampo (encoding of the forensic report)

MIGHT E2010/Maite Quesada (procuring the report copy)


Photo Credits:

 bilmoto.com

Maite Quesada

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Posting the May 10, 2010 ballot images in the Internet will restore the democratic principle of counting in public

by Roberto Verzola

Halalang Marangal (HALAL) welcomes the positive responses to its proposal that the ballot images now on memory cards [in connection with the May 10, 2010 Philippine automated electoral system or AES elections] be unencrypted and made public. With this statement, we want to respond to the objection that our proposal violates ballot secrecy.


 The two basic electoral principles in a democracy are voting in secret and counting in public.

Voting in secret. This means keeping a voter’s choices secret from others, shielding the voter from pressure or harassment and making vote-buying dificult. Putting the ballot images online does not violate this secrecy, because a ballot and its image do not contain the name of the voter who cast it. In the manual system, ballots are also opened and counted in public without violating ballot secrecy.

Voting in secret does not mean keeping a voter’s choices secret from himself. In fact, this is what the Comelec did when it ordered the voter verification feature of the PCOS machines disabled, keeping the electronic ballot secret from the voter himself.

Counting in public. Votes represent the collective voice of the people. Counting votes in public is therefore a basic feature of a democracy. The PCOS machine denied voters and candidates the right to see the votes being counted and tallied. In effect, our votes were counted in secret, not in public. This secret counting of votes is a big step backward, compared to the old system where voters and candidates were able to see with their own eyes if their votes were being registered, counted and tallied correctly.




Because it was going to be a public count of votes in only 1,145 out of 76,347 precincts, the random manual audit was a poor substitute to public counting. The audit had other flaws as well:
  1. the precincts to be audited were announced too soon, forewarning cheats;
  2. some were done several days after May 10, instead of immediately after the ERs were transmitted;
  3. some were done after the ballot boxes were transported and stored elsewhere, while they should have been conducted in the precinct itself;
  4.  some were not conducted without political party watchers and election watchdogs, who were essential to the integrity of the process;
  5. the results were not announced immediately after the conduct of the audit but went through further “processing”, raising concerns that the results were sanitized;
  6. until now, more than a month after the elections, the full audit report has not been released yet; and
  7. the Comelec and PPCRV have prematurely declared, based on the incomplete results, that the discrepancies found were “minimal”, without releasing the actual machine and audit counts themselves, giving the public no opportunity to compare the two ourselves.

The HALAL proposal to put ballot images online makes up for the secrecy surrounding both the automated counting of ballots and the subsequent audits of these machine counts. It restores the public counting of votes in the electoral process. We suggest that its coverage be extended in three stages: first, the 1,145 precincts covered by the audit; second, all precincts covered by local electoral protests; and third, all the 76,347 precincts in the country. Let the ballot image files on the CF cards of these precincts be unencrypted and released to the public through the Web and on DVDs, so that the public may go through every ballot image in any particular precinct and compare its count with the count posted on the Comelec website or the audit count arrived at by the audit team.

Allowing the public to actually count the votes in the ballots, as we have always done in the past, should settle once and for all public concerns about the accuracy and integrity of the automated elections.

We ask all to add their voices to this proposal, so we may count our votes in public once again.

Reference: Roberto Verzola, Secretary-general (0929-856-1930)

____________

Halalang Marangal Press Statement, June 19, 2010

Source URL: 

http://pcoswatch.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/putting-ballot-images-online-restores-the-democratic-principle-of-counting-in-public/


************

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Batangas Was Spared from an Outbreak of Coral-eating Starfish

by Greg Yann (WWF-Philippines)


BESET by an invisible confetti of stinging plankton just off the coral-fringed waters of northern Batangas, I watch as a massacre unfolds.  

Bristling with lethal toxin-tinged spikes, a multi-armed creature creeps menacingly towards a Porites coral head, its dull gray-green form blending well with the seascape. It is a Crown-of-Thorns Seastar (Acanthaster planci) - a dedicated coral predator and the bane of today's coral reefs.


A Porites coral head is brunch for a palm-sized seastar. With its toxin-laden spikes, natural
 toughness  and incredible reproductive capabilities, the Crown-of-Thorns Seastar
 is a perfect coral predator. (Kurt Domingo)


As it scales its quarry, it turns its brilliant ochre stomach inside out, ready to engulf and devour the coral's fleshy polyps. Suddenly, aluminum tongs slice the water to grasp the seastar in a mortal tug-of-war. With a Lacrosse player's finesse, the tong-armed diver stuffs the creature into a nylon mesh and heads for a waiting boat above. Not quite divine intervention - but for the coral head, the next best thing.

The Porites coral and its kin are safe for now, but hidden in innumerable nooks and crannies around it are dozens more seastars. Welcome to Etayo Cove - one of hundreds of reefs in the Coral Triangle under attack by these voracious fallen stars.


Tong-armed diver keeps COTS at arm's length. Even light contact with its spikes can
lead to instant swelling, numbness and nausea. A 2007 incident immobilized
the author's  arm for  over an hour. (Kurt Domingo)


Perfect Coral Predators

"This," says local warden Agapito Perno as he raises the same rapidly-deflating seastar, "Is locally known as Dap-ag. It comes every summer, when the sea is hottest." Known throughout the community as Mang Pete, Perno once served as a bosero or spotter for blast-fishers, but has since chosen to protect the coasts of his native Batangas. "Careful," he says when I peer in for a closer look. "Very poisonous. Look only."

Widespread throughout the Coral Triangle, Crown-of-Thorns Seastars or COTS aren't actually star-shaped. Rather, they resemble flattened sea-urchins, with 12 to 20 arms radiating from a central disc, densely coated by needle-tipped spikes.

Mammoth appetites allow adults to chomp through six square meters of coral reef annually. An outbreak can be devastating - live coral cover in Palawan's Green Isle Bay plummeted from 70% to 10% in just a few months. Full recovery takes years and can be hindered by the inevitable growth of algae. When this happens, only browsers such as surgeonfish or rabbitfish can graze off enough space for new corals to develop.


inner-plate sized adult makes short work of an Acropora colony. A single adult can consume
 up to  65 square feet of healthy coral annually. (Wesley Caballa) 

"COTS are the perfect coral predators because of their highly-developed breeding and defense capabilities," explains WWF-Philippines CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan. "They are believed to have the highest fertilization rates of all known invertebrates. A tire-sized adult can spew up to 60 million eggs per batch, so if just 1% survives, 600,000 will - as Spock says - live long and prosper."

Few animals are better-engineered to deter predators: if the needle spikes don't stave off potential attackers, the neurotoxins they instantly inject into wounds often do. Still, large triggerfish, Triton Shells and colorful Harlequin Shrimp take a small but steady toll on COTS populations. Sadly, these hunters have been declining due to over-collection. With few natural control measures, COTS populations are determined only by the amount of corals they can seek.


Pollution, Climate Change Fuel Outbreaks 

For millennia, COTS outbreaks have been instrumental in dictating the composition of the world's coral reefs. However, increased coastal pollution and ocean temperatures may be causing populations to skyrocket.

Says Tan, "These seastars play a crucial ecological role - their constant browsing keeps fast-growing coral species in check, preventing them from dominating slow-growing, but equally important coral species. However, large-scale outbreaks - fuelled primarily by human activities - can wreak severe havoc and must be carefully managed to minimize long-term reef damage."

Human pollution is a real culprit: life amidst the world's oceans depends mainly on the natural upwelling of nutrients from decaying matter. Nutrients fuel the creation of vast clouds of free-floating algae and plankton, which are then fed upon by filter-feeders like corals. It is this crucial gauntlet that larval seastars must brave before being able to settle on reefs.

However, pollution from coastal communities and offshore fleets has given rise to unusually high amounts of plankton - allowing more larval COTS to reach adulthood. Higher sea temperatures also cause coral-bleaching which - depending on the current health of a given reef - can either weaken or finish off its constituent corals.

"Ultimately, the best check-and-balance for COTS outbreaks would be to strengthen reef resilience itself. Healthy reefs have lots of filter-feeders. More filter-feeders mean less COTS. However," says WWF dive leader Paolo Pagaduan while inspecting a crateful of COTS, "Manual cleanups are still necessary."


Collecting Fallen Stars

Back at Etayo Cove, the cleanup continues. Save for the rhythmic hissing of dive regulators, the reef is silent. Below, a tiny Watchman Goby pulls guard for its unlikely burrow-mate, a Pistol Shrimp. Beyond is a red basketstar - no, a lionfish, feathered fins swaying in the current. With this, our dive leader starts his ascent, signaling the end of the trip. In the silence of the blue, all others follow suit.

The last of the COTS are dried before burial in Hamilo Coast. In just two hours, 247
 seastars were  removed, bringing the summer season's final total to over 1000. An earlier drive off
 Green Isle Bay in Palawan yielded over 30,000 - impressive, but not enough to save the reef. (Mark Limchoa)

On the boat, COTS are emptied into plastic crates, the ones used for packing fruit. Soon the seastars will be buried on land to avoid adding more nutrients to the sea, fuelling more outbreaks.

Concludes Tan, "Though eliminating hundreds of seastars may sound inhumane, we recognize a need to reset nature's balance. We choose to control COTS populations because many of the Coral Triangle's reefs are no longer in good shape. Physical removal is the quickest and surest way to ensure the continued survival and productivity of these undersea oases."


* * *

As the sunset looms, we help the old caretaker bury the seastars in a pre-dug pit along Hamilo Coast, a cool sea-breeze gradually drifting in. Mang Pete looks up, shoulders his shovel and motions for silence. The dozen-strong cleanup team perks up, the air still heavy with the stench of dead echinoderm.

Patiently paddling his Bangka, Agapito Perno - otherwise known as
 Mang Pete, has seen  firsthand the effects of COTS outbreaks. Once a spotter for dynamite
 fishermen, the tough warden has since chosen to protect the coasts of Batangas. (Gregg Yan)

"Today, we collect 247 Dap-ag. This is good, very good." Cheers and backslapping abound as the volunteers celebrate a fine day's work. When the crescendo finally dies down, the lone warden strolls back to his moored boat, towards the sea. I follow, if only to enjoy the dramatic sunset.

Abruptly he turns to me, his worried visage tinged crimson by the dying rays of the sun. "247 today, 1000 for whole season - but like the sea tide, they will one day be back." I catch his eye and slowly comprehend the truth behind his words. "These starfish … they always come back."

Secret “backdoor” allows complete control of PCOS machines used in May 10, 2010 Philippine polls

 by Rolando Verzola


Halalang Marangal (HALAL) calls the attention of the COMELEC and the public to an unpublicized finding of the IT experts’ forensic examination of the Antipolo machines, conducted a few days before the incoming president and vice-president were proclaimed on June 9.

We have learned that a secret “backdoor” was found in the PCOS machines which, if exploited, would enable an intruder to easily control the machine completely. This backdoor is a little-known port on the PCOS called “console”. Smartmatic had given government IT experts the impression that this port could only be used as output, for monitoring the status of the PCOS.

The forensic examination at the Senate, however, has determined that the console port could in fact also be used as input. Thus, with a simple connection using a special cable, the PCOS can be controlled from another computer, and the operator on the controlling computer gains “superuser” access to the operating system of the PCOS without need for username or password. A superuser, which is similar to the “Administrator” account in Windows, can do things like save, modify, erase or overwrite files, including programs. A knowledgeable insider with superuser privileges can do practically anything on a machine.

HALAL has further learned that the PCOS operating system permanently records an application log only, which is saved to an audit log file in the removable Compact Flash (CF) card. The operating system log is saved not to the CF card but to volatile memory, also called a RAM disk, whose contents are lost everytime the PCOS machine is turned off. Thus, intrusions through this secret backdoor leave no record for forensic examination. In addition, intruders can also overwrite a recent audit log file with an old copy, allowing them to hide their tracks from the application log as well.

PCOS machine
In the House committee on suffrage hearings, Smartmatic had admitted that the PCOS machine could be used to commit fraud during the elections, but had assured the committee that this will always leave a trace. But with the discovery of this secret backdoor, HALAL concludes that any trace of the intrusion can also be erased by the intruder.


What more has Smartmatic not told the Comelec and the public?

HALAL urges the COMELEC to investigate this security lapse and to determine the liability of Smartmatic for supplying us with a voting machine with a secret backdoor for controlling the machine, for withholding this information secret from government IT experts, and for exposing the 2010 elections to high-tech fraud.

HALAL also reiterates its proposal that all ballot images be unencrypted and put online, grouped by clustered precinct, so that candidates and voters may see for themselves if the PCOS machines counted their votes properly. This is the only way to determine if this backdoor was exploited by cheats or not.

Reference: Roberto Verzola, Secretary-general (0929-856-1930)


________


(Halalang Marangal Press Statement, June 19, 2010)

Source:

Secret “backdoor” allows complete control of PCOS machine. 19  June 2010. http://pcoswatch.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/secret-backdoor-allows-complete-control-of-pcos-machine/


*************

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How Joma Sison first revealed the AQUINORROYO operations behind the May 10, 2010 automated poll fraud

PINOY Weekly Online (http://pinoyweekly.org/) first carried the story wherein the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Jose Maria "Joma" Sison revealed the AQUINOROYYO deal that supposedly rigged the May 10, 2010 polls in favor of Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III and Jejomar "Jojo" Binay.

Therein, Joma talked of reports indicating that high officials of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, the Aquino family, and the Arroyo regime plotted the pre-programming for the country's first automated election system or AES six weeks before the 2010 presidential elections. This sinister plot was supposedly reached after the meeting between Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Pinky Aquino Abellada, an elder sister of then-presidential candidate and now "President-Elect" Noynoy Aquino.

Pinky Aquino-Abellada, sister of Noynoy  -  Joma Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant

The following are excerpts from the June 7, 2010 online article of Pinoy Weekly:

Pinoy Weekly: Bakit sa palagay ninyo nanalo si Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III sa pagkapangulo sa nagdaang eleksiyon?
 
JMS: Nanalo si Noynoy Aquino dahil sa bago maghalalan siya ang pinili ng mga imperyalistang Amerikano at lokal na mga naghaharing uri ng malalaking komprador at asendero na maging bagong pangulo ng naghaharing sistema. Sa kabila ng pagkukunwaring umaasa siya sa piso-piso mula sa karaniwang mga tao, sa kanya idinagsa ng malalaking negosyanteng dayuhan at Pilipino ang kanilang suporta sa kampanya.

Sa kalaunan ng kampanya, hinigitan ni Noynoy si Manny Villar sa paglikom at paggamit ng pera para sa iba’t ibang tipo ng propaganda.  Sinuportahan si Noynoy ng malaking mass media. Tuso sa propaganda ang mga alalay niya. Para mapagtakpan ang kasalatan niya sa track record at kakayahan, pinatingkad ng kanyang media handlers ang palagay na siya ay malinis na tagapagmana ng tatay at nanay niya at ang pagbatikos sa korupsiyon  ng rehimeng Arroyo.  Kaugnay nito, sa pariralang “Villarroyo,” tumalab ang hambalos ng kampong Noynoy na ahente ni Arroyo si Villar dahil hindi siya umaatake kay Arroyo.

May mga palatandaan din na sa automated electoral system ng Smartmatic, na kontrolado ng US at mga ahente nila, may naganap na preprogramming para panaluhin sina Aquino at Binay.  Halatang kinabigan ng napakalaking boto sina Manny Villar at Loren Legarda. Overkill at di kapanipaniwala ang biglang pagbagsak nila.  May mga ulat na matataas na kinatawan ng CIA (Central Intelligence Agency ng US), pamilya ni Aquino at rehimeng Arroyo ang nagpasya sa pre-programming anim na linggo bago araw ng halalan.  Ang pag-uusap nina Pinky Aquino-Abellada at Ginang Arroyo ang nagbigay daan sa ganitong areglo.

The camp of the Aquinos, along with Malacanang, expectedly denied the allegation. Sison, however, will grant follow-up interviews to Bulatlat.com elaborating on the issue.
_______

Excerpts from: 

Pinoy Weekly Staff. "Panayam kay Jose Maria Sison hinggil sa papasok na rehimeng Aquino." 7 June 2010. Pinoy Weekly Online. http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2010/06/panayam-kay-prop-jose-maria-sison-hinggil-sa-papasok-na-rehimeng-aquino/

Photo Credits: 

www.pep.ph

http://thinkingwarrior.t35.com/images/joma_sison_smile.jpg

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel faults the May 10, 2010 AES and Smartmatic despite Aquino-Binay vote

Sen. Aquilino "Nene Pimentel," member of the National Board of Canvassers in connection with the May 10, 2010 national elections, puts on record his criticisms of the first automated elections (AES).



The following excerpts contextualize his "Explanation of [his] his vote on the proclamation of the newly-elected President and Vice President at the Session Hall of the Batasang Pambansa on June 9, 2010."


Regrets

Respectfully, however, I must put on record my regrets that the PCOS machines that we used for the very first automated elections we held on May 10, 2010 were not completely reliable and were tainted by certain anomalies. For sure, the irregularities, abnormalities, or glitches, if you like, that came with the process and the results of the automated elections in some parts of the country may not suffice to nullify the entire electoral exercise.

In any event, the automated electoral system that we used left a long trail of deficiencies that we must cure if we are ever to use AES machines in future political exercises. The defects were mostly directly machine-generated, but, at least, on one occasion, the shortcoming was specifically man-made as will be shown towards the end of this Statement.

Right denied

For one, our voters were denied the right to know how and if the votes they had cast for their chosen candidates were duly recorded by the so-called Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines [2]. The paper-trail that I, as a lawmaker, was assured would be available for that purpose, never materialized in any of the election machines used all over the country. All that came out of the PCOS machines after every ballot was read by the machines was an inane, silly, and childish message that said: "Congratulations! You have successfully voted."

For another, there were several certificates of canvass electronically sent to the national Canvassing and Consolidation Server (CCS) that contained data errors.

Strictly speaking, those mistakes should have resulted in the nullification of the votes enumerated in the certificates.

Wrong dates

Glaring examples are certificates of canvass that bore the correct date of the elections, May 10, 2010, but, which misstated the date and the time of the closure of the polls. For example, in Bacolod City, copies of canvass reports from precincts in the city noted that the polls closed on January 18, 2010 (see Annex A).

In Quezon City, Congresswoman Annie Susano shared with me the contents of a CF card that was presumably taken from one of the PCOS machines used in the elections in the city.

On-Off Sensors

When the CF card was opened by the use of a privately-owned computer, it disclosed that of the seven sensors in the PCOS from which the card was taken, four were put on and off at certain intervals and three were permanently switched off.

The sensors, I am told, are the devices that read the contents of the ballots when they are processed by the PCOS machines

The CF card as read showed the following data: 



Sensor Settings of PCOS














Acosta Aquino
Delos Reyes Estrada Gordon
Madrigal Teodoro Villanueva
Villar
?
?
?









Binay Chipeco
Fernando Legarda
Manzano Roxas
Sonza Yasay
?
?
?





Item #
Time: from
Time: to
Duration
PS1
PS2
PS3
PS4
PS5
PSDV
PSDSD
# Ballots scanned
 # of Ballots Running Total



 
10-May














1
7:30:43
7:32:28
0:01:45
on
on
off
off
off
off
on
2
2



2
7:32:28
7:33:34
0:01:06
on
on
off
off
off
off
on
2
4

4
4
3
7:33:34
7:33:35
0:00:01
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
0
4

0
4
4
7:33:35
7:35:09
0:01:34
on
off
off
off
off
off
off
4
8

4
8
5
7:35:09
7:35:14
0:00:05
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
0
8

0
8
6
7:35:14
7:37:03
0:01:49
on
on
off
off
off
off
off
4
12

4
12
7
7:37:03
7:37:05
0:00:02
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
0
12

0
12
8
7:37:05
7:47:28
0:10:23
on
on
off
off
off
off
on
6
18

6
18
9
7:47:28
7:47:40
0:00:12
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
0
18

0
18
10
7:47:40
7:50:48
0:03:37
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
2
20

2
20
11
7:50:48
7:54:25
0:08:14
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
1
21

1
21
12
7:54:25
8:02:39
0:01:30
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
6
27

6
27
13
8:02:39
8:04:09
0:06:52
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
3
30

3
30
14
8:04:09
8:11:01
0:06:24
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
7
37

7
37
15
8:11:01
8:17:25
0:04:07
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
7
44

7
44
16
8:17:25
8:21:32
0:01:11
on
on
off
off
off
off
off
4
48

4
48
17
8:21:32
8:22:43
0:13:33
on
on
off
off
off
off
on
3
51

3
51
18
8:22:43
8:36:16
0:02:33
on
on
off
off
off
off
on
14
65

14
65
19
8:36:16
8:38:49
0:04:44
on
on
off
off
off
off
off
5
70

5
70
20
8:38:49
8:43:33
0:05:56
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
4
74

4
74
21
8:43:33
8:49:29
0:04:02
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
9
83

9
83
22
8:49:29
8:53:31
0:02:17
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
3
86

3
86
23
8:53:31
8:55:48
0:19:01
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
5
91

5
91
24
8:55:48
9:14:49
0:06:02
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
24
115

24
115
25
9:14:49
9:20:51
0:00:22
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
8
123

8
123
26
9:20:51
9:21:13
0:10:06
on
on
off
off
off
off
off
13
136

13
136
27
9:21:13
9:31:19
0:00:00
off
off
off
off
off
off
off
0
136

0
136
28
9:31:19
9:31:19
0:01:55
on
on
off
off
off
off
off
2
138

2
138
29
9:31:19
9:33:14
0:05:26
on
on
off
off
off
off
off
15
153

15
153
30
9:33:14
9:48:40

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
8
161

8
161
31
9:48:40
9:55:26

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
5
166

5
166
32
9:55:26
9:58:14

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
31
197

31
197
33
9:58:14
10:22:17

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
5
202

5
202
34
10:22:17
10:28:26

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
19
221

19
221
35
10:28:26
10:42:42

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
0
221

0
221
36
10:42:42
10:42:57

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
3
224

3
224
37
10:42:57
10:44:03

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
3
227

3
227
38
10:44:03
10:45:40

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
1
228

1
228
39
10:45:40
10:46:02

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
5
233

5
233
40
10:46:02
10:46:39

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
2
235

2
235
41
10:46:39
10:48:42

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
6
241

6
241
42
10:48:42
10:49:28

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
16
257

16
257
43
10:49:28
10:53:52

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
1
258

1
258
44
10:53:52
11:05:48

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
15
273

15
273
45
11:05:48
11:06:18

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
5
278

5
278
46
11:06:18
11:18:06

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
0
278

0
278
47
11:18:06
11:21:27

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
19
297

19
297
48
11:21:27
11:22:02

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
10
307

10
307
49
11:22:02
11:32:10

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
0
307

0
307
50
11:32:10
11:38:57

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
0
307

0
307
51
11:38:57
11:38:58

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
9
316

9
316
52
11:38:58
11:38:58

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
5
321

5
321
53
11:38:58
11:44:12

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
0
321

0
321
54
11:44:12
11:51:11

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
2
323

2
323
55
11:51:11
11:51:13

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
2
325

2
325
56
11:51:13
11:52:17

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
0
325

0
325
57
11:52:17
11:53:29

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
4
329

4
329
58
11:53:29
11:53:37

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
10
339

10
339
59
11:53:37
11:57:22

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
11
350

11
350
60
11:57:22
12:08:27

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
1
351

1
351
61
12:08:27
12:17:11

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
6
357

6
357
62
12:17:11
12:18:52

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
2
359

2
359
63
12:18:52
12:21:17

on
off
off
off
off
off
off
2
361

2
361
64
12:21:17
12:23:07

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
7
368

7
368
65
12:23:07
12:23:59

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
2
370

2
370
66
12:23:59
12:27:22

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
1
371

1
371
67
12:27:22
12:31:21

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
5
376

5
376
68
12:31:21
12:36:07

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
5
381

5
381
69
12:36:07
12:40:13

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
3
384

3
384
70
12:40:13
12:44:18

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
3
387

3
387
71
12:44:18
12:47:23

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
22
409

22
409
72
12:47:23
12:51:24

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
5
414

5
414
73
12:51:24
13:11:11

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
3
417

3
417
74
13:11:11
13:13:55

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
3
420

3
420
75
13:13:55
13:15:08

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
7
427

7
427
76
13:15:08
13:16:45

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
10
437

10
437
77
13:16:45
13:23:08

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
6
443

6
443
78
13:23:08
13:23:08

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
14
457

14
457
79
13:23:08
13:29:05

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
1
458

1
458
80
13:29:05
13:34:15

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
0
458

0
458
81
13:34:15
13:44:21

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
13
471

13
471
82
13:44:21
13:44:43

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
2
473

2
473
83
13:44:43
13:44:45

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
4
477

4
477
84
13:44:45
13:51:23

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
2
479

2
479
85
13:51:23
13:52:17

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
11
490

11
490
86
13:52:17
13:55:17

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
5
495

5
495
87
13:55:17
13:56:08

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
4
499

4
499
88
13:56:08
14:03:52

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
4
503

4
503
89
14:03:52
14:08:21

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
7
510

7
510
90
14:08:21
14:10:16

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
2
512

2
512
91
14:10:16
14:15:48

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
17
529

17
529
92
14:15:48
14:19:30

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
9
538

9
538
93
14:19:30
14:20:08

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
6
544

6
544
94
14:20:08
14:31:02

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
7
551

7
551
95
14:31:02
14:41:47

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
0
551

0
551
96
14:41:47
14:46:41

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
8
559

8
559
97
14:46:41
14:50:21

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
21
580

21
580
98
14:50:21
14:50:22

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
5
585

5
585
99
14:50:22
14:56:24

on
off
off
off
off
off
off
8
593

8
593
100
14:56:24
15:12:16

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
0
593

0
593
101
15:12:16
15:14:49

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
10
603

10
603
102
15:14:49
15:20:22

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
5
608

5
608
103
15:20:22
15:20:23

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
3
611

3
611
104
15:20:23
15:20:24

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
3
614

3
614
105
15:20:24
15:25:41

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
5
619

5
619
106
15:25:41
15:31:07

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
0
619

0
619
107
15:31:07
15:34:16

on
off
off
off
off
off
off
3
622

3
622
108
15:34:16
15:37:22

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
39
661

39
661
109
15:37:22
15:42:25

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
4
665

4
665
110
15:42:25
15:42:27

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
22
687

22
687
111
15:42:27
15:43:40

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
5
692

5
692
112
15:43:40
16:17:41

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
4
696

4
696
113
16:17:41
16:20:06

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
4
700

4
700
114
16:20:06
16:42:14

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
3
703

3
703
115
16:42:14
16:46:02

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
1
704

1
704
116
16:46:02
16:47:54

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
7
711

7
711
117
16:47:54
16:51:54

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
19
730

19
730
118
16:51:54
16:52:48

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
0
730

0
730
119
16:52:48
16:53:12

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
2
732

2
732
120
16:53:12
17:00:07

on
on
off
off
off
off
on
0
732

0
732
121
17:00:07
17:33:30

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
21
753

21
753
122
17:33:30
17:33:30

off
off
off
off
off
off
off
0
753


753
123
17:33:30
17:34:56

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
0
753


753
123
17:34:56
17:34:57

on
on
off
off
off
off
off
0
753


753
 
17:34:57
19:07:22

on
on
off
off
off
off
off






19:07:22









Basically wrong
One does not need an IT expert to understand that a reading of Sensor Settings of the CF card cited above readily shows that something was basically wrong with that particular PCOS machine. The switching of sensors on-and-off meant that some votes were counted some of the time, while others were not counted most of the time.

It does not, however, speak of the ALL the PCOS machines that were used throughout the country.

Nonetheless, if one of the PCOS machines did go wrong or was programmed to read some votes in some of the columns of the candidates and not read others at certain times, there is ground for alarm that all was not well with the AES process that we used in the May elections.

It is unfortunate that Congresswoman Susano, in my opinion, appeared unable to go for broke in her expose of the anomalies she encountered in her own district in Quezon City during the elections.

Board's duty

The rules governing the canvass of the certificates of votes in the Constitution (Article VII, Section 4) and the pertinent laws on the matter define one main thing. Our work as members of the Joint Congressional National Canvassing Board is to determine the 'due execution and authenticity' of the certificates of canvass electronically sent to us.

In layman's language that means that we are obliged to find out if the certificates sent to us were prepared properly by the persons (members of the provincial and city Board of Election Inspectors) authorized by law to do so and were true, real or genuine. If there are alterations, erasures or indications that the certificates had been tampered with, the Constitution and the pertinent laws mandate that we disregard the certificates concerned.

While the erroneous dates on the closure of the polls inscribed on some certificates of canvass as mentioned above did not strictly speaking refer to the number of votes the candidates received or the names of the candidates voted for in the places covered by the canvass, the thing is that those erroneous dates were a tell-tale sign that something was grievously wrong with the machines that tallied the votes and transmitted them electronically to the Joint Congressional National Canvass Center.

Signs of tampering?

The errors in the dates of the closure of polls, I submit, indicated that the PCOS machines could have been tampered with or that the machines simply committed errors that corrupted the documents, i.e., the certificates of canvass they had sent to us. If erasures or alterations in the certificates of canvass in the old manual voting system that we followed in the past were deemed sufficient to cause the rejection of the certificates of canvass concerned, why should the error-filled electronically generated certificates of canvass although machine-caused (on the dates of the closure of the polls) be considered valid?

As explained by Philippine Computer Society Director Edmundo Casino:

"The Inaccurate Date and Time stamped reflected on some Election Returns (ERs) that were transmitted to the subsequent level of board of canvassers as stipulated in the applicable laws [3] cannot (be excused by) Smartmatic (the vendor of the machines) that their operator may have altered or the machines were inevitably 'shaken' (when transported to the Philippines). The same vendor, after all, had asserted that all PCOS machines were tested 100 % for their durability in the Shanghai manufacturing plant and that the system clock is affixed and aligned to a global time zone, i. e. 8 hours from GMT (Manila-Beijing-Singapore Time). The normal reset of the system clock by default will bring it to 01-01-10 which is January 1, 2001, not January 27, 2010 or April 28, 2010 or May 3, 2010.

"The only plausible explanation for this (anomaly) is that some cloned or similar PCOS devices (were) used for scanning counterfeit ballots printed elsewhere in some clandestine areas so that the erroneous number of votes of the candidate(s) for local or national positions on the dates and times shown in the Election Returns were recorded and captured as if they were genuinely 'original' in the CF memory card. And possibly during Election Day, the CF Card bearing the pre-scanned and pre-counted results could have been switched with unused and real CF card."

Egregious error

There was one other egregious error that staggered the imagination and defied any explanation on the reliability of the PCOS machines.

It had to do with the initialization electronically sent message from the Comelec to the Senate President dated May 10, 2010. In simple terms the initialization message was meant to alert the Senate through the Senate President that the server in the custody of the Senate could now be activated to do its functions.

The initialization message, however, had a most glaring blunder. It recorded the voting population of the Philippines at 256,733,195 or roughly more than five times the true figure of 51 million.

I thought out aloud for all to hear that the figures probably referred to Indonesia that sent some in the audience tittering and Cesar Flores, the Venezuelan Smartmatic official, shifting uneasily on his seat.

Asked to explain the error, Flores, who usually spoke for Smartmatic before public forums and even before the National Canvassing Board gave what amounted to a non-explanation that aggravated the situation.

Flores's clarification was unintelligible. His answer merely blamed the PCOS machine concerned for mechanically multiplying the real number of the registered voters of the country five times. He did not respond to the more fundamental question of why did it happen? Why was the factor of "five" used? Who did it? And why was it not detected earlier than later by an automated election system that was supposedly certified to be accurate, fast and reliable?

Certification flawed

We underscored the adverb, supposedly, to qualify the word 'certified' for the reason that the certification issued by the Technical Evaluation Committee of the Comelec was essentially based the certification on the Systest Lab, Inc., a U.S. based systems test company. And Systest Lab listed down a number of devices - 'compensating controls' - that had to be imbedded in the PCOS machines to enable them to function with a 99.995 percent accuracy.

Those compensating controls were not installed according to the Philippine Computer Society.

Small wonder that Ambassador Tita de Villa, head of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) reported to the Joint National Canvassing Board that on the average errors recorded by the PCOS machines was .007%, not .005% that was demanded by the contract between Smartmatic, the PCOS machines provider and the Comelec, the government agency in charge of ensuring orderly, clean and honest automated elections in the country.

Rational explanation

Casino had a more rational explanation for the blatant mistake.

"The erroneous numbers of Registered Voters of 256 million odd entered in the Senate Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS) defies the claimed accuracy of the system procured from the vendor.

"Section 7 of RA 9369 (amended as Section 6) under the heading Minimum System Capabilities stipulates that the automated election system (AES) must have, among other things, at least, the following functional capabilities:

"1. Accuracy in recording and reading of votes as well as in the tabulation, consolidation and canvassing, electronic transmission, and storage of results;

"2. System integrity which ensures physical stability and functioning of the vote recording and counting process;

"3. System auditability which provides supporting documentation for verifying the correctness of reported election results; etc."

Casino argued further that "Given the unacceptable error of this magnitude, the issue of Smartmatic's capability to deliver a reliable product that was clearly stated in Section 10 of RA 9369 (amended as Section 12) under the heading Procurement of Equipment and Materials, comes to the fore.

That section of the law stipulated that "With respect to the May 10, 2010 election and succeeding electoral exercises, the system procured must have demonstrated capability and been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise here or abroad.

"Participation in the 2007 pilot exercise shall not be conclusive of the system's fitness.

"If the vendor Smartmatic claims they are the experts in election systems, why would such blatant error manifest itself in the halls of the Senate on an actual live run?"

Casino's thesis is that Smartmatic that supplied us the PCOS machines had not shown that the company's system had been successfully demonstrated either here or elsewhere.

Other missteps

There were other specific missteps that were committed separately by either Smartmatic or Comelec, or, jointly by both entities.

Examples follow:

1. The arbitrary removal of security safeguards like the digital signatures of the Board of Election Inspectors that were supposed to accompany the electronically sent canvass reports from the provinces and the cities.

The deletion of the digital signatures mentioned above made our work as members of the National Canvassing Board more complicated. We could not immediately determine the due execution and authenticity of the COCs we were canvassing simply by looking over the documents.

2. The nonuse of the portable UV lamps that were supposed to spot spurious ballots even before their insertion into the PCOS voting machines in the precincts. The non-obligatory use of the portable UV lamps put into doubt the validity and accuracy of the COCs sent to the Joint Congressional Canvass Board.

3. The Disabling of the Ultra Violet (UV) Lamps in the PCOS machines.

The disconnection of the UV lamps in the PCOS machines apparently laid the basis for COMELEC's conducting an emergency procurement of the portable UV lamps worth 30 million pesos. The portable UV lamps were not used by the BEI or who did not know the UV lamps' uses.

4. The relaxation of the original intent to require the use of UV ink.

The use of the UV ink was meant to ensure the machine will only read official ballots printed by the authorize National Printing Office (NPO) per Section 13 of RA 9369 (amended as Section 15) under the title, Official Ballot.

The section states that "With respect to a paper-based election system, the official ballots shall be printed by the National Printing Office and/or the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas at the price comparable with that of private printers under proper security measures which the Commission shall adopt. The Commission may contact the services of private printers upon certification by the National Printing Office/Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that it cannot meet the printing requirements.

Accredited political parties and deputized citizen's arms of the Commission shall assign watchers in the printing, storage and distribution of official ballots.

"To prevent the use of fake ballots, the Commission through the Committee shall ensure that the necessary safeguards, such as, but not limited to, bar codes, holograms, color shifting ink, microprinting, are provided on the ballot.

"Since the UV reader of the PCOS machines was disengaged the probability that fake ballots were manufactured and used fraudulently and scrupulously is high."

"5. The non-audit of the CF cards used in the PCOS machines throughout the nation in the elections.

The CF cards were supposed to be audited for the purpose of removing doubts on their reliability. That the CF cards were not audited raises concerns that some of the COCs sent to the Joint Congressional Canvass Board might have been manipulated.

"6. The non-fulfillment with the manual audit set by the Comelec of five of the elective positions in selected precincts.

"The failure of the Comelec to conduct a manual audit of the votes for the president, vice president, members of congress, governor and mayor creates mistrust about the sincerity of the Comelec to verify the accuracy of the electoral count and heightens the people's anxiety over the possibility that the automated election results may not be that accurate.

"7. The failure of the AES to follow a "laderized system" of transmission of the results of the elections.

"The omission adds to the perception of confusion in the summation of the results of the elections.

"The so-called laderized transmission system means that:

"(a) The first transmissions are from the PCOS in the precincts to the city/municipality consolidation and canvassing servers;

"(b) The second transmissions come from the MCCS to the Provincial/District PCCS; and

"(c) The third transmissions emanate from the PCCS to the Comelec and Congressional National Board of Canvassers servers.

"The existence of other servers such as those assigned for the use of the KBP/Majority-Minority parties/PPCRV and the Comelec 'back-up' servers is an admitted fact."

Unofficial results

These PCOS machines, however, transmitted 'unofficial results' at the ER level where consolidation was not supposed to take place. But surprisingly PPCRV made a quick count from the consolidated unofficial results and so did the Comelec from their servers.

The consolidations of the ERs were legally infirm.

"It is NOT only the direction to which the transmissions were sent by the PCOS to the MCCS which were important but also the transmission sequence. Transmissions from the PCOS SHOULD have been done FIRST towards the direction of the MCCS and not anywhere else. What in fact happened was that the PCOS machines at the precincts transmitted the results to whatever communications link was available, thereby, bypassing the MCCS at times when the link to it was not working. This was in violation of the law that specified that the ladderized system was strictly to be followed."

The rationale for the ladderized transmissions according to an IT person is that it is easier to collude with one set of people in the central server than to do so with 1,631 sets of people.

On Election Day "the PCOS were allowed to transmit to any of the three official transmission receivers depending on so-called link availability."

Transmission logs

To establish the trustworthiness and credibility of the electronically transmitted election results, we need to request the transmission logs from the Telecommunications Carriers to verify if such transfer of electronic data did occur between the PCOS to the CCS.

There is also a need for the people to know if the reconfiguration on the recalled CF cards did take place. The reconfiguration took place too close to Election Day. This matter was not verified and certified extensively.

Man-made anomaly

The dumping of CF cards and other election materials into the garbage landfill in Cagayan de Oro City a day or two after Election Day is an established fact. Four CF cards were recovered as well as assorted Election Returns and other election-related documents from the dumpsite as well as from a junk shop in the city.

That manner of disposal of election paraphernalia was a clear violation of Republic Act No. 9369 Section 28 (amended as Section 35) under the heading Prohibited Acts and Penalties. Paragraph (c) of the section restricts acts "Gaining or causing access to using, altering, destroying or disclosing any computer data, program, system software, network, or any computer-related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether classified or declassified."

Incidentally, the Cagayan de Oro incident is material to our work in the National Canvassing Board even for the simple fact that CF cards were thrown along with other election documents into the dumpsite. The CF cards as we now know contained the votes not only of local officials but also of those running for national positions including the presidency and the vice presidency - votes that we were canvassing.

Promise unfulfilled

Happily, the election paraphernalia - I would say, at least, some of them - were heroically retrieved by Fr. Nathan Lerio, the PPCRV representative. Unfortunately, Fr. Lerio did not fulfill his promise to me that he would attend a hearing scheduled by the National Canvassing Board and turn over to us the CF cards in the company of Ambassador de Villa and some other legal personalities of the PPCRV.

In the end, under time constraints, we had to hear only the testimony of lawyer Gina Luna Zayas-Sabio, city election office of Cagayan de Oro.

Stolen?

At first Ms. Zayas-Sabio gave the alibi that the election materials were stolen. In this regard, she was rebuffed by the official report of the Cagayan de Oro Police (a copy of which was personally handed by me to Comelec Commissioner Larrazabal). The police report categorically stated that there were absolutely no signs of burglary or theft of the election materials in the Comelec Office in Cagayan de Oro.

            Then, in an attempt to evade responsibility for the loss of the election materials from their office, Zayas-Sabio said in a subsequent public statement covered by the media that anyway, those materials were no longer needed or important because their contents had already been electronically sent to the Comelec/Smartmatic servers in Manila.

In that respect, she told the truth. But it is clear that under the pertinent laws, the personnel manning the Comelec office in Cagayan de Oro City are primarily responsible for the preservation and safekeeping of the election materials concerned.


Liable

Furthermore, provisions in COMELEC Resolution 8823 dated April 23, 2010, COMELEC   Resolution 8786 dated March 4, 2010 in particular Section 41 with the heading Disposition of Election Returns, as well as COMELEC Resolution 8809 dated March 30, 2010, were not observed. In brief, it was the obligation of the Comelec officials of Cagayan de Oro City to preserve those election paraphernalia and not dispose of them in a manner not authorized by law.

            They are liable for violation of the pertinent provisions of those election laws and even of the article of the Revised Penal Code for infidelity in the custody of public documents.

            Comelec officials in Manila are urged not turn a blind eye to that glaring misdeed of their Cagayan de Oro City personnel and cover-up for them.  Whoever is responsible should be punished. That is just about the only way the Comelec may regain the credibility they had lost in the past.


Summing up

Following is a summary of how the AES Fared in 17 areas in relation to the Attributes of Trustworthy Elections[4]:


1 Democracy

1.1 Metric : one eligible voter can cast one vote

1.2 Verdict: Failed.  Voters' lists were still bloated with double and multiple registrations.  Many qualified voters were disenfranchised.


2 Accuracy

2.1 Metric: the final vote count should reflect the intent of voters

2.2 Verdict: Failed.  Accuracy of the results is doubtful. All measures to assure accuracy were blocked.


3 Security

3.1 Metric: measures were supposed to be in place to protect the integrity of the process.

3.2 Verdict:  Failed miserably.  All layers of security were removed.


4 Secrecy

4.1 Metric: no vote could be traced to the voter.

            4.2 Verdict: Failed.  The long ballot made this difficult.


5 Verifiability/auditability

5.1 Metric: the vote results could be verified and the validity proven after  the initial count

5.2 Verdict: Miserably failed.  The Random Manual Audit was a farce.  Wrong methodology. Almost a month after the elections, still no clear results have been reported.


6 Privacy/confidentiality

6.1 Metric: information collected on voters should used for election purposes only and within the scope for which it was collected

6.2 Verdict: Undetermined.


7 Transparency

7.1 Metric: the process should be open to outside scrutiny

7.2 Verdict: Failed miserably.  All avenues for reviewing system such as the source code review were blocked.  Voter verification feature was removed.  CF cards were flying all over.


8 Accessibility

8.1 Metric: the reasonable, specific needs of eligible voters should have been taken into account so that none are disenfranchised

8.2 Verdict: Failed miserably as attested by the kilometric voter queues and the super delicateness of the ballot and the difficulty to register votes as attested by the 2.6 million null votes


9 Neutrality

9.1 Metric: electoral processes or materials should not favor one candidate or party over another

9.2 Verdict: Failed.  The reconfiguration of the ballot might have given favorable edge for some candidates.


10 Simplicity

10.1 Metric: the voting processes should not make voting unduly complicated

10.2 Verdict: Failed.  Ballot was too long to navigate easily and difficult to mark specially for senior and less educated voters.  No second-cjance voting allowed (if the first ballot was accidentally damaged).  No alerting message if the voter over- or under-voted. And no second ballot to replace damaged one.


11 Flexibility

11.1 Metric: the voting process should be able to handle a variety of ballot styles and counting formats

11.2 Verdict: Passed. There were 9 to 11 canvassing models and some 2,000 ballot face variations.


12 Scalability

12.1 Metric: the voting process could be scaled to handle large and small electoral events

12.2 Verdict: Passed.  The system used industry standard servers and adopted the EML standards.


13 Recoverability

13.1 Metric: the voting process should provide for duplication of systems to prevent data loss

13.2 Verdict:  Passed.  The system implemented high availability and back up redundancies in the data processing and data communications aspects.


14 Mobility

14.1 Metric: the voting process should provide for votes to be cast from locations other than the traditional polling station

14.2 Verdict: Not rated for the law does not yet allow this.


15 Speed of count

15.1 Metric: results should be reported quickly

15.2 Verdict: Miserably failed.  Except for the election night announcement of quick count by Comelec which had doubtful source and progeny. In fact, the elections are not yet finished close to one month after May 10. Example: Lanao del Sur where up to yesterday, June 8, there were still a number of barangays where special elections still had to be set and held.


16 Cost-effectiveness

16.1 Metric: the voting process should be effective and economical

16.2 Failed.  For the cost per voter was excessively high by international standards - PHP 285 or USD 6.  Plus we don't even now own the system but just leased it for this ONE election Verdict:.


17 Technical durability

17.1 Metric: the voting process should allow the basic electoral infrastructure to be reasonably insulated from obsolescence

17.2 Verdict: Passed.  Hardware, software and data adhered to internationally accepted standards.

In view of the foregoing premises, we wonder if the Comelec/PPCRV and Smartmatic could guarantee that all the Certificates of Canvass that were used for the official canvassing and proclamation of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates were duly executed and authentic? And may the Comelec/PPCRV and Smartmatic now unequivocably guarantee the effectiveness and efficiency of the automated election system (AES) by the use of the PCOS machines for future elections?


Plug loopholes

That said, let me restate that the only reason why we took pains to record, at least, some of the deficiencies of the PCOS machines is to prod our government to plug the loopholes in the AES that was used in the 2010 elections.

While some of the cited anomalies are rather serious, the remedies may lie in appropriate presidential or vice presidential protests and in the prosecution of those responsible for them, and, probably in correcting by legislation the infirmities that attended the electronic elections of 2010.


Call of the moment

The call of the moment, however, is for the proclamation of the winning presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Proclaiming the winners without delay will ease the anxieties of the partisans of the candidates, lessen the tensions among the people, help stabilize the nation and allow the government to deliver the essential services needed by the people in their daily lives.


Prayer

We pray that the Lord of the Universe will bless and guide the two top leaders of the country for the sake of national welfare and the individual advancement of the rights of our people.

Before we end this explanation, let me put into the record my personal gratitude to the Chairs of the Joint Congressional Canvassing Board and my fellow members of the Board for their fair and gracious handling of the canvass proceedings.

It should be stressed, however, that the right of the people to seek redress for any perceived or real irregularities in the conduct of the last elections is open and available to the aggrieved party or parties before the proper tribunals created by law.

Salamat po.

___________

[1] PDP-Laban (Pilipino Democratic Party-Lakas ng Bayan) founded in 1982 to provide the people with a non-violent alternative to the Marcos dictatorship.


[2] Full name of machine: Dominion Voting Image cast Precinct Count Optical Scan


[3] RA 9369 particularly Section 19 (amended as Section 22) with heading Election Returns, Section 20 (amended as Section 25) with heading Canvassing by Provincial, City, District and Municipal Board of Canvassers, Section 21 (amended as Section 25) with heading Number of Certificates of Canvass of Votes and their Distribution, Section 23 (amended as Section 28) with heading Congress as the National Board of Canvassers for President and Vice president.


[4] Based on the work of IT specialists Klynveld, Peat, Marwick and Goerdeler.

_________

Press Release Sources:

http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2010/0609_pimentel1.asp

http://www.nenepimentel.org/v2/index.php?do=view&page=speeches&id=344

Recent Posts

total pageviews since july 2010