4 Smartmatic officials, 3 COMELEC I.T. personnel charged with violations of Anti-Cybercrime Law

admin   •   May 24, 2016   •   3038

Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz (left) and Atty. Jose Amor Amorado file complaints against 4 Smartmatic officials and 3 COMELEC I.T. personnel on the issue of unauthorized introduction of a new computer program into the COMELEC’s transparency server during election day.

Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz (left) and Atty. Jose Amor Amorado file complaints against 4 Smartmatic officials and 3 COMELEC I.T. personnel on the issue of unauthorized introduction of a new computer program into the COMELEC’s transparency server during election day.

Four Smartmatic officials and three COMELEC I.T. personnel are now facing charges for violations of Republic Act 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Law.

This morning, the camp of Sen. Bongbong Marcos filed charges before the Manila Prosecutors Office against Smartmatic’s Marlon Garcia, Elie Moreno, Niel Banigued and Mauricio Herrera.

Also charged were COMELEC I.T. personnel Rouie Penalba, Nelson Herrera and Frances Mae Gonzales.

They were charged with illegal access, data interference and system interference for the unauthorized introduction of a new computer program into the COMELEC’s transparency server during election day.

The camp of Senator Marcos claims this is obviously illegal because it was done without permission from the COMELEC en banc.

The same goes even assuming that it was only a cosmetic change and it has no effect on the canvassing.

“At the very least, that particular introduction of the new script is a violation,” said complainant Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz

Marcos’ camp also claimed there was conspiracy between Smartmatic and COMELEC personnel.

They said it would be impossible for Smartmatic to introduce the new program had not the COMELEC personnel given their password.

Marcos’ legal counsel, Atty. Jose Amor Amorado said, “Actually, that is what is surprising. This I.T. personnel under the I.T. Department of COMELEC have the courage and temerity to allow Smartmatic to access the system, give Smartmatic the password of COMELEC making it possible for Smartmatic, particularly Marlon Garcia, to introduce the script,”

In his earlier memorandum to COMELEC, Rouie Penalba has denied ordering Garcia to alter the script and replace letter “ñ” with “?”.

The Smartmatic has also clarified that the alteration in the program was done in full view and was announced to several people in the PPCRV transparency center.

Smartmatic is yet comment on the charges filed by the camp of Senator Marcos.

(RODERIC MENDOZA/UNTV News)

9 of 10 Filipinos favor automated election system — Pulse Asia

Maris Federez   •   August 7, 2019

Majority of the Filipinos still favor continuing the holding of elections through an automated system in the future.

Based on Pulse Asia’s recent survey conducted last June, nine of 10 or 91% of Filipinos would still prefer having the elections done electronically.

They said an automated election system is faster and the results are immediately released.

“They feel that faster results made the Elections more credible and then it’s also easier compared to let’s say how we use to vote where you have to write the surname of the candidate,” Pulse Asia president Dr. Ronnie Holmes said.

An election watchdog, however, said that since election results were difficult to manipulate under the AES, reports of vote-buying increased.

“Vote buying became more rampant after we automated our Elections because candidates, politicians did not know how to cheat the machines,” said LENTE executive director Atty. Ona Carritos.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) believes that President Rodrigo Duterte still trusts the automated election system despite his earlier pronouncement in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) favoring the termination of the contract with Smartmatic. (with details from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

Comelec 1st division cancels Cardema’s nomination as Duterte Youth party rep

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2019

Ronald Cardema

MANILA, Philippines – The first division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday ordered the cancellation of the nomination of former National Youth Commission (NYC) Ronald Cardema as a representative of the Duterte Youth Party-list in the 18th Congress.

Comelec spokesperson, director James Jimenez announced the decision on his Twitter account.

“The nomination of Respondent, Ronald Gian Carlo L. Cardema, as the first nominee of Duterte Youth party-list is hereby cancelled,” read the dispositive portion of the poll body’s first division resolution obtained by UNTV News and Rescue.

Two of the three-member division, Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Marlon Caquejo, voted in favor of the petition while Commissioner Al Parreño was on official business.

In a 25-page resolution, the Comelec 1st division said that Cardema committed material misrepresentation on his age when he filed his nomination bid.

The division said Cardema was not eligible to be nominated as Duterte Youth party representative contrary to the declaration he made in his Certificate of Acceptance of Nomination.

He was also aware that he is already 34 years old, and thus “committed a falsity when he misrepresented that he eligible for nomination” despite not possessing the age qualification provided by law for representatives of the youth sector.

Section 9 of Republic Act 7941 or the Partylist Law provides that a nominee of a youth party-list group must be between 25 to 30 years old.

“In view thereof, this Commission finds respondent to have committed material misrepresentation on his qualifications,” the resolution read.

During hearings, the camp of Cardema claimed that Duterte Youth is a multi-sectoral party representing not only the youth sector but also the young professionals and this, he is eligible to be nominated despite his already being 34 years old.

But taking the petition as a whole, the division said, it can be observed that the party intended to limit its representation of professionals only insofar as “young professionals” are concerned. The division noted that Cardema himself admitted to this effect in the pleadings he filed.

“While it may be true that Duterte Youth Party-list represents both the young and young professionals, it is important to consider that the professionals being represented by the party are the “young ones,” who would necessarily belong to the youth sector,” the resolution stated.

“With this in mind, this Commission finds no reason why the age qualification provided by law for nominees of the youth sector should not be applied to the respondent,” the resolution added.

Election Lawyer Emil Marañon, counsel for petitioners against Cardema’s nomination, welcomed the Comelec division’s decision.

“We are happy to announce that with the vote of 2-0, the Comelec First Division has granted our Petition seeking the cancellation of the nomination of Gian Carlo Cardema as the First Nominee of the Duterte Youth Party-List,” Marañon said on a Twitter post.

“Hopefully, this decision will be the first step towards the reform of the party-list system, that is to bring it back to the truly marginalized and underrepresented sectors,” he said in a separate statement.

Voter registration pushes through despite proposal to postpone Brgy & SK Polls

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 2, 2019

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has pushed through with the voters registration despite the proposed postponement of the Barangay and SK elections next year.

According to Comelec Spokesman Dir. James Jimenez, it is better to be prepared in case Congress decides not to postpone the Barangay and SK polls.

Jimenez also said voters can still register even on Saturdays and holidays. The voter registration will run until September 30.

“The commission will open the registration process on Saturdays and even holidays to allow more applicants to be accommodated, especially students and working people who may not have time during weekdays,” Jimenez said.

An estimated two million voters will file their registration in the country.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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