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Political parties no-show at code review

THE political parties have been absent in the Source Code Review being conducted by the Commission on Elections in St. Andrews Hall at the De La Salle University.

Some technical representatives of various parties were present on the first day, but the reporters noted the lack of technical representatives in the entire week last week.

“We were hoping to get the opinion of the technical representatives of the Liberal Party and UNA on whether or not they approve of the source code,” said Billie Beltran of the online opinion daily ManilaSpeak.com.

“Unfortunately, the only person present every day was the representative of Smartmatic.” 

On Oct. 8 this year, The Comelec and Smartmatic launched the Source Code Review so the public can validate the accuracy and security of the whole system to be used in the 2016 Philippine Elections. 

Among others, it enables the review of the instructions given to the Optical Mark Reader or OMR Machines and to the Canvassing Servers.  

A source code reveals exactly how a system is programmed. In the case of an election system, its source code can be reviewed to validate and certify that such system is accurate, reliable, secure and has no malicious code inside it. 

Comelec Chairman Andy Bautista opened the source code for review this year and months before the elections to give parties adequate time to inspect it. The source code will be open for review at the De La Salle University grounds for seven months.  

The representatives of eight accredited political parties or concerned groups or both may visit the Source Code Review center at De La Salle, which will be open five days a week from 8 am to 5 pm. 

The eight accredited groups are the Liberal Party, the United Nationalist Alliance, the Nationalist People’s Coalition, Unang Sigaw, a political party in Nueva Ecija; the Bagong Bayan Party led by former Senator Richard Gordon, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, the Center for People Empowerment in Governance, and Lakas-CMD. Sara Susanne D. Fabunan

Smartmatic has assured the public that the source code is impossible to hack. Smartmatic Technology manager Marlon Garcia says the source code has encryptions in itself at all levels.  

“We always put the security measures required. In every election we change our security features, so if any person finds out [about] the previous implementation, it becomes useless by next election,” Garcia said.

Topics: political parties
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