Marcos bucks court ruling that favored Comelec

THE camp of defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has asked the Department of Justice to overturn the resolution of the Office of the City Prosecutor in Manila dismissing the case for violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 filed against officials of the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic officials.

Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
In his petition for review, former Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, who served as Marcos’ campaign adviser in the May elections, said the panel of Manila prosecutors committed an error in dismissing the case against Marlon Garcia, head of the Smartmatic technical support team; Elie Moreno, Smartmatic project director; Neil Baniqued, Smartmatic team member; and Rouie Peñalba, Comelec information technology officer, for lack of evidence.

The panel of prosecutors also dismissed the case against Smartmatic technical support team member Mauricio Herrera and Comelec employees Nelson Herrera and Frances Mae Gonzales for lack of merit.

According to the Manila prosecutors, Dela Cruz failed to present evidence that the tweaking of the script of the transparency server had compromised the integrity of the elections or caused widespread anxiety.

The Manila Prosecutor’s Office said there was also no evidence to prove that there was an intention on the part of the respondents to compromise the transparency server and cause widespread anxiety.

However, Dela Cruz said the under Cyberbrime Prevention Act, intent or good faith was immaterial.

“The mere commission thereof amounts to a breach in the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems,” he said.

He said that by alleging that there was no damage caused by Respondent in changing the script, the OCP-Manila may have overlooked the fact that the change was committed without right or authority as declared by the Comelec Commissioners, which he said was an act punishable under the Cybercrime Law.

He also disputed the finding of the OCP-Manila that the script change was with “mplied” right or authority when it said the Protocol of Escalation gave them the discretion to introduce changes. 

He insisted that the Protocol of Escalation did not apply because the matters raised in the script change pertained to incident management and not to change management.

“[T]he Protocol of Change Management should have applied particularly as it dealt with the handling of change request or request of changes in the system after it has been accepted by the Comelec,” Dela Cruz said.

Topics: Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. , Department of Justice , Office of the City Prosecutor Manila , Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 , Commission on Elections , Smartmatic , Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz
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