Vice presidential bet Bongbong Marcos said the entire electoral process has been placed under a cloud of doubt after the Commission on Elections that the hash codes of the transparency server were tweaked in the early hours of vote counting on 9 May 2016.
Marcos is trailing Leni Robredo in the partial and unofficial quick count of the vice presidential race. He has accused the Comelec of manipulating the results after his 1 million lead in the early hours of counting turned into a 200,000-plus deficit to Robredo in the early hours of May 10.
In a statement, Marcos said: “It has become clear that our assertion that hash codes have been changed at 7:30 p.m. on May 9 is true. Two whistleblowers came out in two newspaper articles confirming that there were alterations made and a video has been circulating in social media that changes indeed happened.”
Marcos said this prompted Comelec Chair Andy Bautista to admit the script change after initially denying it. Bautista, however, has downplayed the incident as it has no bearing on the results.
Marcos disagreed with Bautista’s decision to brush off the grave impact of the script change in the middle of voter’s transmission.
Marcos noted that Section 28 of Republic Act 8436 provides that any form of utilization without authorization or tampering with electronic devices or their components used in the automated elections is prohibited and punishable by law.
He also said that rules also provide that changing the hash code requires an En Banc resolution but as admitted by the Chairman himself, even he was not informed about it.
Marcos posed four questions to Bautista:
1) If the alteration was something innocuous, why did they have to change it in the first place while in the middle of transmission?
2) Why did they deny the change only to admit it later on?
3) Were there other modifications made? By whom and upon whose authority?
4) Why were the changes done by a Venezuelan Smartmatic technician rather than a Filipino Comelec-authorized personnel?
“We call on Chairman Bautista and the Comelec for a full and truthful explanation so the public can best informed on this matter before the official canvass begins,” said Marcos.
“The inability of the Comelec to guard the Automated Election System has cast a cloud of doubt over the integrity of the entire process We call on Information Technology experts to help us make sense of this very serious issue,” said Marcos.