Comelec to release poll machine’s 2010 source code for review




07:25 PM May 3rd, 2013

By: Matikas Santos, May 3rd, 2013 07:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines—To finally silence his critics, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Friday that he was arranging to have the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine source code used in the 2010 automated elections released for their review.

“It will debunk what was stated by those people that there was no source code in 2010,” Brillantes told reporters Friday afternoon after he went to the Bangko Sentral ngPilipinas where it is stored to arrange its release.

“Nobody has reviewed [the source code] in 2010 so if they want to review it we will open it to them,” Brillantes said. “Anyway it will no longer be used in the [upcoming] elections.”

The source code is the computer program that runs the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines when it counts the votes.

The 2010 source code is different from the 2013 source code because the Comelec had asked for several improvements on the PCOS.

The 2013 source code however has not yet been released pending a legal dispute in the United States between Smartmatic, the company contracted by Comelec to conduct the automated elections, and Dominion Voting Systems Inc, the owner of the PCOS technology.

Lack of source code

Several groups have criticized the lack of a source code review saying it casts doubt on the results of the elections because they don’t know how the PCOS counted the ballots.

“They have been questioning the credibility of 2010 and they are also applying it to 2013, they are not saying anything new,” Brillantes said.

“[It’s] all noise, nobody has yet brought evidence to show that the results of the 2010 elections was wrong, not one,” he said.

When asked why the critics were not showing evidence, Brillantes said: “because the results are correct, it has been tested in over a hundred protest cases, it shows that the results of the PCOS is correct, so there is no evidence that the PCOS is wrong

UN case

Earlier Friday, several civil society groups said during a press conference in the University of the Philippines that they would file a case against the Comelec before the United Nations Committee on Human Rights.

They alleged that Comelec had violated their “right to free expression of their will as electors  when it gave complete control of the technical aspects of the automated elections to a foreign entity, Smartmatic.”

They also cited the lack of a source code review in the 2010 elections as basis for the complaint.

Brillantes however dismissed the complaints as a mere “publicity stunt” and that they were going to the UN because they could not win in the Supreme Court.

“They can not win in the SC so they cannot find any other court to run to,” Brillantes said.

“We will [ignore] them, we are too close to the elections to pay any attention to their case abroad,” he said.

He said he was confident that the case would not prosper.

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