The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) demanded the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to present an investigation report explaining the delays in the transmission of poll reports.
UNA campaign manager Tobias “Toby” Tiangco issued the statement after the coalition’s Information Technology (IT) experts were told that a “regional file was inadvertently removed” during transmission.
“It only makes sense for them to stop proclamation until they explain the suspicious transmission of election results from the remaining 30 percent of PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machines,” UNA campaign manager Tobias “Toby” Tiangco said in a press conference.
“How can we be certain that the results being used as the basis for the proclamation are accurate in light of these very disturbing developments that cast suspicion on the outcome of the polls,” he added.
In a press conference, UNA’s IT consultant Gadburt Mercado reported that “certain files ceased transmission” suddenly without any clear explanation from the poll body.
Regional files are data containing the compilation of party-list and senatorial election results.
“All we know is that certain files ceased transmission and we are asking why there have been changes in what they are sending us,” Mercado told reporters.
“We need to know why they are making immediate changes on the file,” he added.
Earlier, UNA claimed that Smartmatic personnel Daton Cerino allegedly manipulated data from Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) command center in Manila on Tuesday.
“Regional files stopped updating on the morning of May 14. Comelec said it was because of Smartmatic had routine maintenance but no details given,” Mercado said.
“We want to know what are the access rights given to people for Comelec data. What are changes implemented. We want to a copy of audit logs,” he added.
But Mercado said he cannot “answer with certainty” whether regional files that are not transmitted could be altered or manipulated.
Tiangco, for his part, clarified that UNA is not trying to cast doubt on the integrity of transmission, clarifying that they just want clear and direct answers from the Comelec.
“Dalawa lang naman ang gusto naming malaman: Una, bakit sobrang bagal ng transmission at huli, yung manipulation of data by Smartmatic personnel. Dapat walang human intervention or minimum lang,” Tiangco said.
“Eh mukhang hinahayaan lang nila ang mga taga-Smartmatic na ayusin everytime may glitches or problema. Dapat nakabantay sila,” he argued.
“The integrity of the mid-term elections is at stake here. We cannot compromise this in the interest of expediency when valid questions are being asked and demand an answer from the Comelec,” he added.
Tiangco said he's also suspicious why Comelec is only able to canvass 69 percent of all votes three days after the elections when the poll body managed to count 80 percent of votes one day after polls in 2010.
“Gusto naming bilisan ang bilangan para sa lahat. We are sacrificing the proclamation of Nancy Binay,” Tiangco said.
The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …