FILE PHOTO: Smartmatic project manager Marlon Garcia.
MANILA, Philippines — The preliminary investigation set by the Commission on Elections Law Department with regard to the election offense case filed by the camp of Senator Bongbong Marcos against Smartmatic and a personnel of the poll body’s Information Technology Department did not push thru today.
This, after Smartmatic asked for a 15-day extension to file their counter affidavit citing as reason not receiving a copy of the complaint.
Rouie Peñalba, the I.T. officer of COMELEC who is also a respondent in the case, asked to also be given time to submit his counter affidavit.
The law department approved the request and set the hearing on June 30.
The case stemmed from the alleged unauthorized alteration that Smartmatic did to the script or program of the transparency server on the eve of May 9.
Marcos’ political adviser Congressman Jonathan Dela Cruz says Smartmatic’s project manager Marlon Garcia tweaked the program not just once but twice.
“When the script was changed, the observers saw that there was also a change in some of the hash codes of the system itself he again interfered, he again intervened and he changed also some of this and said that the hash codes where the same already,” Dela Cruz said.
Also, the camp of losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is still in the process of finalizing the election protest complaint that they will be filing before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Aside form the issue of undervotes, the case will also highlight the use of a 4th server or a queue server in the recently concluded elections.
“There was a funneling effect and that is against the Automated Elections Law. We do not know what transpired in the queue server. We do not know its function. What we know is that having a queue server is unauthorized,” said Dela Cruz.
“The queue server can decrypt and the objection here of using the queue server is this was not subjected to source code review. Smartmatic reportedly was the one who insisted that the queue server be used with the knowledge of COMELEC,” explained Atty. Jose Amor Amorado, Sen. Marcos’ legal counsel.
Senator Marcos is set to file his protest case before the PET on June 28.
(VICTOR COSARE/UNTV NEWS)