A SPOKESMAN for former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Friday the admission by a Smartmatic official that there were several servers outside of those sanctioned by the Commission on Elections was a breakthrough in their case accusing Comelec and Smartmatic of violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
In a hearing at the Manila Prosecutor’s Office, the head of Smartmatic’s technical support team, Marlon Garcia, admitted there were other servers in the Automated Election System (AES) apart from the three sanctioned by the Comelec for the May 2016 elections.
Garcia said these were kept in a “meet me room” that was kept separate from the three official servers.
“This is a good day for Senator Marcos’ quest for truth because they finally admitted the existenc eof several other servers aside from the three legally authorized servers,” said lawyer Vic Rodriguez, a spokesman for Marcos.
Rodriguez said the admission of the existence of several other servers in the AES validated their earlier contention that Smartmatic was not forthright in the system it employed during the elections, putting the integrity of the May polls under a cloud of doubt.
He said the election results which were televised in public did not come directly from the transparency server, as mandated by law.
Instead, the results were first transmitted to a “queue server” where they were “consolidated and processed” and it was this “queue server” that sent the data to the so-called transparency server.
The Marcos camp earlier revealed the existence of a “fourth server” or the “queue server” which the Comelec and Smartmatic had been kept secret from the public.
Rodriguez pointed out that instead of the votes being transmitted directly to the three servers, namely the municipal board of canvassing server, the Comelec server and the transparency server, the results were first coursed through a “queue server.”
The existence of this fourth server was never divulged to the public and was not subjected to a source code review, unlike the other servers used in the elections, Rodriguez said.
He added that there were no watchers allowed for the fourth server.
Before Garcia’s admission, both the Comelec and Smartmatic had been tightlipped about the queue server.
Aside from acknowledging the existence of the other servers, Garcia also admitted that he introduced changes in the transparency server and that he did so with the concurrence of Comelec IT officer Rouie Peñalba.
Rodriguez said Garcia’s claim was inconsistent with earlier pronouncements by Peñalba that he never authorized the change in the script.
“During the clarificatory hearing, Garcia admitted that even without any authority, he changed the script in the system. He committed another blunder when he told the panel that he got his authority from Comelec employee Rouie Peñalba. Based on Rouie Peñalba’s urgent memorandum dated May 11, however, he expressly stated two things—one, that he did not authorize Marlon Garcia to tinker with the system and second, that he himself did not have any authority from the Comelec to allow anybody to tinker with the system,” he said.
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