MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon will submit a memorandum to the Comelec en banc and its investigation committee on Monday, May 16, in a bid to keep Smartmatic personnel from leaving the country pending the probe on the breach of Comelec’s protocols.
In an interview on radio dzBB on Sunday, May 15, Guanzon said in Filipino that based on the memo she would be submitting, the Comelec would “write the Smartmatic president that none of them should leave while they’re being investigated.”
Guanzon said doing otherwise would be an “indication of guilt.”
Smartmatic drew flak for changing an election-related hash code, which is part of the system receiving election results, without the Comelec en banc’s permission. The reported breach happened at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila, which hosts the server upon which media outfits base their unofficial tallies.
Guanzon reiterated that the Venezuelan technology provider should be liable for the unauthorized change in the hash code.
Guanzon said in earlier news briefing that Smartmatic should have informed the poll body en banc about the problem, its consequences, and made recommendations on addressing it. (READ: Tale of the hash code: Human error caused results code mismatch)
Instead, she said, it “touched that program without our prior knowledge and official consent.” (READ: Comelec tightens security after Smartmatic breach)
The Marcos camp had anchored its allegation of election fraud in the tight vice presidential race on the alleged “cheating” script, even after the Comelec had deemed it as a “cosmetic change” that did not alter the results. (READ: Election data quash Marcos’ cheating pattern claim) – Rappler.com