Macalintal on ‘secret servers’: Marcos just dreaming of victory

Patty Pasion
Macalintal on ‘secret servers’: Marcos just dreaming of victory
The alleged servers 'have nothing to do with the results of the election for any position,' says lawyer Romulo Macalintal on the controversy over the 2016 vice presidential race

MANILA, Philippines – Veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said on Tuesday, July 26, that the supposed existence of “other servers” during the May 2016 elections won’t bolster the claims of cheating in the vice presidential race.

The camp of defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr has repeatedly argued that there were unauthorized election servers where the election results could have possibly been tweaked.

Marcos filed an election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal on June 29. (READ: ’10 days not enough to answer Marcos election protest’)

In a statement, Macalintal said “Marcos and his supporters are dreaming if they believe Marcos would win in his election protest… on the basis of alleged ‘secret servers.'”

“Even granting, just for the sake of argument, that such ‘secret servers’ indeed existed in the last election, said ‘servers’ have nothing to do with the results of the election for any position. They have no means of changing the results, either to add to or deduct from the votes of any candidate,” the lawyer added.

Macalintal represented Robredo in Congress’ canvassing of votes.

On July 22, the Marcos camp had said that Marlon Garcia, head of Smartmatic’s technical support team, disclosed that there were “several other servers aside from the 3 legally authorized servers.”

Smartmatic’s lawyer George Aquino confirmed this in a preliminary investigation before the Manila Prosecutor’s Office, but stressed that the votes went directly to the Central and Transparency Servers.

“When they reached the Transparency Server the votes were not transferred to anywhere. So, there was no way to manipulate it,” Aquino said last Friday.

Smartmatic is accused of violating the Cybercrime Law.

The Marcos camp also claimed there was a “fourth server” that was not subjected to source code review. This is where the votes could have been rigged, they said, instead of going directly to the official servers.

But Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) IT director William Yu earlier refuted that claim, saying that the transmitted results did not necessarily pass through this server.

Macalintal on Tuesday also reiterated his previous stance that Marcos should just present even one of the 94,000 election returns that does not tally with an authentic copy.

The lawyer also again challenged Marcos to show one ballot where a vote for him was credited to Robredo instead.

The former senator is seeking a recount in 36,000 precincts located in 27 provinces and cities. He also wants the nullification of election results in Basilan, Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur, claiming there was massive cheating in those provinces.

Marcos and Robredo were locked in a hotly contested vice presidential race. Robredo won by just 263,473 votes–

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.