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No to manual! Brillantes says Smartmatic can’t cheat without connivance from Comelec

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Related story: Smartmatic switik: Koko wants manual counting back at precincts

Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes believes Smartmatic can only manipulate election results with the connivance of the poll watchdog.

Brillantes made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Comelec to ditch Smartmatic as its supplier because of chronic complaints about its vote counting machines and allegations of fraud in the last four elections.

“Hindi naman ‘yan pwede dayain ng Smartmatic kung walang kasabwat sa loob, sa Comelec,” said Brillantes in an interview with DZRH radio. “Pero wala pa naman akong nakikita sa ngayon na magkaiba ang resulta sa makina at balita,” he added.

Related story: Duterte’s word ain’t enough: Comelec says legal basis needed to ban Smartmatic from PH elections

Brillantes said Smartmatic should be punished if critics can prove its culpabilty in the hundreds of VNC that broke down and the glitch in the transparency server.

He said Duterte probably wanted to just replace Smartmatic but he does not want a return to manual vote counting which would entail more cost and more allegations of fraud.

“Wala naman ako nakikita mali sa Smartmatic. Maraming atake kasi hindi naiintindihan. Pero, maganda naman talaga na tama na iyon. Dapat natuto na tayo, apat na eleksyon na. Pwede na siguro na tayo na mismo ang mag-patakbo ng automation,” Brillantes said.

“Hindi ko gustong bumalik ng manual kasi iyon ang buong practice ko mula 1987. Nakita ko na ang sobra-sobrang dayaan sa manual. Noon, iba-iba yung election return dahil nagkakaroon ng galawan at tampering sa mano-mano,” added Brillantes.

Brillante said no allegations of fraud has been proven since the first automated elections in 2010. “Ibig sabihin yung bilang nung makina, hindi mo nababaliktad. Talagang iyon yung lumalabas kahit buksan mo pa yung balota,” said Brillantes.

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Brillantes also belied the belief that manual counting of votes is cheaper compared to automated voting.

Brillantes said a manual polls would require four times more people and more expenses.

“Binabayad na nga natin para sa mga teacher kakaunti na lang dahil 85,000 na lang yung mga presinto. Babalik tayo sa 300,000 na presinto na tatakbo. Tapos babayaran natin yung 900,000 na teacher. Doon pa lang bilyon na,” Brillantes said.

Related story: Palace on Duterte’s remarks vs Smartmatic: Comelec should take it seriously

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