Sans source code, poll results doubtful – bishop

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MANILA, April 23, 2013— The Commission on Elections should be held liable for failure to secure the source code of the voting machines to be used in the May 13 polls, a Catholic bishop said. 

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that election law mandates that a source code must be available for review by any interested parties. 

“It will affect the credibility of the elections. Should we not follow the law? Comelec should be held liable because last election they also failed to follow the law,” Pabillo said. 

“We warned them about this before but they did not listen,” added the head of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action. 

Election watchdog Kontra Daya also hit the statement of Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes that he is no longer interested in pursuing the source code review for lack of time. 

It said that such review is a requirement by the automation law and a minimum safeguard to ensure the credibility of election results. 

On Monday, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said they are already giving up on their efforts to secure the source code saying it is already rendered useless since there is no more time to review it. 

“The source code review is a requirement under the (poll automation) law. It’s not optional nor subject to the sole discretion of the Comelec chair,” said Fr. Joe Dizon, Kontra Daya spokesperson. 

The Dominion has been refusing to give its permission for SLI Global Solutions, the Comelec’s third party reviewer, to release the source code certification to the poll body amid the former’s continued legal dispute with Smartmatic International. 

This had prompted Brillantes to initiate tripartite negotiations with Smartmatic and Dominion to resolve the problem. 

The source code is defined as the human readable instructions that define what the computer equipment will do. 

Dizon blames no other but Comelec since it insisted the use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines anew like in 2010. 

“The problem with the source code review could have been avoided had the Comelec disallowed private and foreign corporations to run the Philippine elections,” he said. 

The group, then, renewed its call on the public to remain vigilant in the wake of the incapability of the Comelec to ensure the credibility of the elections. 

Kontra Daya also said the public must continue pressuring the Comelec to ensure that the minimum safeguards to protect the integrity of the automated elections. (CBCPNews)

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