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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Comelec: Tech provider can’t rig poll results

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Commission on Elections spokesman James Jimenez Sunday diminished fears that Smartmatic’s election technology system might compromise election results in the May 9, 2022 national polls.

“I would like to assure the public that Smartmatic is only a supplier of the election machines. The Comelec is still the one running the polls,” he told a Super Radyo dzBB interview.

Jimenez made the clarification after the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center earlier claimed the system of Smartmatic had been compromised.

While the CICC believes that there was indeed no hacking on the servers of the poll body, its executive director Cezar Mancao II said they have found out that the system of Smartmatic was breached.

Smartmatic bagged the P402.7-million contract to provide software for the May 2022 automated elections.

To ensure that no issue will occur in the upcoming polls, Jimenez said they were coordinating with Smartmatic, together with law-enforcement agencies, to identify the source of the problem.

“We understand that Smartmatic’s name is attached to the election, whether it is right or wrong. We are working with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the culprits in this potential problem with Smartmatic are tracked down and punished,” Ji,enez said.

He said that people should not worry about a possible manipulation of election results when these are transported from election precincts to the Board of Canvassers.

“There is no chance of results going through Smartmatic. It’s all self-contained in the Comelec system.”

On January 10, a report by the Manila Bulletin indicated that hackers allegedly gained access to the Comelec’s servers and allegedly stole crucial files including usernames and personal identification numbers of vote-counting machines.

The Comelec has maintained there was no evidence of the alleged data breach.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology also said the alleged hacking incident was not possible “due to the Vote-Counting Machine system being offline and the lack of existing data on the Automated Election System that could be breached.”

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