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Smartmatic misses chance to defend ‘cosmetic change’

  • Written by Bernadette E. Tamayo
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 2362

SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was dismayed by the cancellation of the hearing on Smartmatic’s tweaking of the transparency server at the height of the counting of votes on the evening of May 9, saying it would have been a chance for Smartmatic to explain its questioned action.

The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System (JCOC-AES) was set to conduct yesterday morning a hearing on the election controversy but cancelled it due to Smartmatic’s inability to attend the probe.
    
Marcos said that it is “unfortunate” that the hearing of the JCOC-AES regarding the “script change” in the transparency server of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) did not push through because of a “last minute” notice from Smartmatic that they could not attend.
    
“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,” said Marcos.
    
“Smartmatic has been quick to claim that such change was merely cosmetic and did not in any way alter the results of the elections. If that is so, we expect them to be the ones eager to take advantage of the opportunity which the hearing is providing to settle the issue,” he said.
    
Marcos hopes that 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.”
    
Marcos Wednesday asked the Comelec to allow his team of Information Technology (IT) experts to conduct an “audit” of the transparency server and the central server of the poll body used in the elections.
 
In a three-page letter addressed to Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, Marcos noted that the poll body has yet to answer his legal team’s letter dated May 17, 2016 asking the Comelec to shed light on the introduction of a new script into the transparency server around 7:30 p.m. of May 9, 2016.               
   
Marcos and Rep. Leni Robredo is neck and neck in the vice presidential race. Marcos’ camp claimed that based on their internal survey, the senator won the vice presidential contest. But current tally shows that Robredo is ahead of Marcos by over 200,000 votes.