Namfrel: Error in transparency script ‘amateurish’
Election watchdog National Citizen’s Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) has affirmed that the change in the script in the transparency server does not affect the results of the May 9 polls.
In a statement, Namfrel hit Smartmatic for what it described an “amateurish” error.
“The main and real issue here would be last minute changes in process and codes as well as lack of quality control by Smartmatic. The system is a multi-billion-peso system and the error was so amateurish,” the group said.
Namfrel said that the change in the script—which was effected on all candidates that have an “ñ” in their names—generated a new hash code which hatched allegations of fraud.
“From our research, it seems like there has been character encoding issue specifically on the ñ character and was hastily corrected by someone from the COMELEC/Smartmatic group. The correction happened after the hash code was generated hence the issue on the mismatch of the hash code. After a day it was corrected eventually,” the group observed.
In a press conference on Thursday, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista said that the tweak in the script was only “cosmetic.”
He also shot down claims that the script tweak was intended to favor certain candidates.
“There is no cheating whatsoever,” the Comelec chair said. TVJ/rga