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Guanzon renews audit plea

ELECTION Commissioner Rowena Guanzon reiterated her call for an independent third-party audit of the automated election system that was used in the last election and said she may make a formal motion although the poll body had already ruled against it.

Guanzon did not say when is she going to present the motion before her six colleagues in the poll body but said it would diminish doubts about the results of the election. 

“I’ll make a motion during en banc to have independent IT audit,” Guanzon said even after the poll body ruled last month to defer action on the request of Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to have an independent audit of the election results.

Election Commissioner Rowena Guanzon
Last month, Comelec chairman Andres Bautista said the en banc ruled against Marcos’ request because the result of the audit may be used against the Comelec in one or all of the cases Marcos filed after his opponent for the vice presidency Camarines Sur Rep. Leonor Robredo was declared the winner.

“There are criminal complaints versus Smartmatic and Comelec. What would happen if they find anything during the audit? Will they use it as evidence?,” Bautista said, adding, however, that they will wait for the conclusion of the criminal cases filed against some Comelec employees and Smartmatic.

Marcos sought a system audit after Smartmatic project manager Marlon Garcia admitted he altered a script of one of the servers used in the election without the authorization of the Comelec. 

Guanzon had already expressed her support for a third-party audit to show voters and candidates that the system is impartial.

“It should be an IT expert that is not affiliated with any political party or candidate, preferably it should be identified by the DoST, or it can even be the DoST,” Guanzon said.

Meanwhile, Guanzon also said that the fact-finding committee on the script changing incident is set to submit its report and recommendations to the Comelec en banc on June 21.

“The fact-finding committee on the changing of script by Smartmatic will submit its report and recommendations to the en banc on June 21,” Guanzon said.

Meanwhile, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the solicitor general, who is representing the poll body against a petition to prosecute Smartmatic for changing the script, is now preparing to respond to the order of the Supreme Court.

Last week, the SC has ordered the Comelec to respond to the petition calling for the prosecution of Smartmatic officials who altered the program of the Comelec’s transparency server on the night of May 9.

During Tuesday’s deliberation, the high court’s en banc ordered Comelec to comment on the petition filed by lawyer Eduardo Bringas, Bishop Reuben Abante and Moses Rivera.

In their petition, they urged the high court to order the Comelec to conduct an “independent and thorough investigation” and eventually file a case against Smartmatic officers and other personnel who tampered with the servers.

Topics: Rowena Guanzon , renews audit plea , comelec , supreme court

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