Comelec says Namfrel aware of transmission router

Paterno Esmaquel II
Comelec says Namfrel aware of transmission router
Commission on Elections Spokesman James Jimenez says Namfrel was in the meeting where this was approved unanimously

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) criticized the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) on Friday, May 17, for saying it was not aware of the transmission router setup in the May 13 elections.

Namfrel earlier cast doubt on the results of the May 13 elections by saying that the transmission router was “hidden behind the cloak of secrecy.” The poll watchdog said this transmission router “in reality is a network of computers and devices through which all election results transmissions were routed.”

In a press conference on Friday, Jimenez said: “It’s kinda surprising because we have minutes [of the meeting], and the minutes very clearly show that Namfrel was present at the meeting where this was discussed. At the proper time we will release these minutes to the public.”

Jimenez added, “It seems that people are forgetting things.”

The poll body’s spokesman explained that the transmission router was meant “to just be a traffic cop,” and “was never a facility to store data, not like what people are trying to say now.” He said the result of the voting on the transmission router – which included Namfrel – “was unanimous.” 

Namfrel released a statement Thursday, May 16, calling on the Comelec “to fully disclose the ‘transmission router’ or the ‘meet-me-room’ network set-up, how it operates, and who are behind its operations.”

“The transparency server data outage on the night of election day was worrisome for stakeholders, especially among candidates, causing them to wonder the possibility of data manipulation. The data outage cast doubt on the integrity and credibility of election results,” said the election watchdog.

“Lift the veil of secrecy and let the people know,” Namfrel added.

Namrel earlier rejected its accreditation to serve as Comelec’s citizen arm for the May 13 elections because it had yet to receive access to data for its open election data website. – Rappler.com

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.