A House opposition leader yesterday vowed to use all legal remedies possible to protect and ensure that every single vote of vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is counted in the midst of the reported breach in transparency server by election technology provider Smartmatic.
Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, campaign manager of Marcos, reiterated that the stinging rebuke by no less than Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Rowena Guanzon of Smartmatic over the incident was very serious.
De la Cruz said that the Smartmatic move changing the script of transparency servers without due permission from the poll body’s en banc was feared to have rigged the results of the May 9 presidential polls to favor the administration candidates.
“This was a big and serious setback to the supposed success of the recent presidential polls,” de la Cruz lamented.
“We will take every available legal action to ensure that the votes of BBM (Bongbong Marcos) are properly counted and protected; also to have those responsible for this faux pas to be held accountable for their misdeed,” de la Cruz stressed.
Guanzon had reacted just as Marlon Garcia, who led Smartmatic’s technical support team, finished demonstrating before the media how it tweaked the script to correct the “?” in the names of candidates with “ñ.”
Despite Garcia’s admission, Comelec chairman Andres Bautista maintained that the integrity of the results of the May 9 national elections remains unaffected.
De la Cruz said the concerned officials should explain thoroughly and make themselves accountable to the questions hounding the integrity of the polls as an offshoot in the change of script in the middle of the counting.
“It is all our desire to search for truth. We want to know what happened during the last elections,” de la Cruz said, stressing that the change in hash code has to be investigated to find out what really happened.
The camp of Marcos questioned the results of the vice-presidential race, which showed him trailing Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo by some 200,000 votes.
Even supporters of the senator expressed belief that Robredo only overtook him in the race after the script change was introduced into the server.
Reports said that an IT expert, who is an accredited observer of poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), has in his possession evidence showing the hash code of the transparency server had been allegedly breached by Smartmatic officials to introduce a new script that may have allegedly “rigged” the results and compromised the entire system in partial and unofficial counting in favor of administration candidates.
A few hours after the breach, reports said that the IT expert source who requested anonymity, said a “clogging” in the system was observed and the one-million lead of Marcos over his closest rival Robredo started to narrow down.
Reports said that the alleged “major breach” would now compel Marcos and other senatorial candidates – Francis Tolentino, Senator Sergio Osmena III and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez – who ranked 13th, 14th and 15th, respectively, to question the integrity of the results and demand answers from the Comelec how the violation of protocols could have possibly happened.
It was reported that all the PPCRV’s unofficial and Comelec’s official results would come only from a single source – the transparency server of the Comelec.
Reports said that the IT expert revealed that a Venezuelan IT expert of Smartmatic, the Comelec supplier of the vote counting machines or VCM, has allegedly violated the protocol and the country’s laws by tampering with the “hash codes” that protected the integrity of the files containing the results.