Marcos raises sabotage fears amid poll glitches

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Vice-presidential aspirant Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Thursday expressed fears of doubtful election results due to technical glitches experienced by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) three months before the May 9 polls.

"Every time nagkakaproblema, pinag-aaralan namin baka pampagulo lang ito sa sistema," Marcos said in an interview.

"We continue to monitor to make sure everything is OK."

Marcos said his team is also studying whether the glitches are orchestrated to favor a certain candidate or to sabotage the election as a whole.

"Yun ang gusto namin malaman," he said,

"Every time, ang Comelec, ang paghahanda ay hindi smooth, lahat kami nag aalala."

When asked whether the results will still be credible despite the technical glitches early on, Marcos answered: "Let's hope so. Wala pa tayo roon but we still have to look into the source code problem. We still have to worry about the delays.

"Yung mga possible delays sa ibang lugar, there could be possible abuse."

IT experts have expressed concern over technical problems hounding the upcoming elections, saying the Comelec should have a back-up plan in place.

Last week, the poll body discovered a critical problem in the network setting of the consolidation and canvassing system (CCS), which also affects the election management system.

On Wednesday, the poll body admitted it is also encountering problems installing the CCS into the system.

"In order to make it installable, we basically have to make an ISO image. The problem occurred when we tried to make the ISO image," Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.

The Comelec is also encountering issues with the vote-counting machines.

The poll body earlier explained the machines have been equipped with a self-diagnostic feature that alerts the Board of Election Inspectors whenever the printer is dirty.

However, the overly sensitive nature of the machines causes the vote-counting machines to reject ballots that contain even small ink dots from the printer.

"There was a 1 to 2 rejection rate but we are calculating that if you look at 44.3 million ballots, that's about a million ballots which again should not be the case," Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said.

The poll body is now currently fixing the glitches but the delays could affect the schedule of preparation for the polls. -- With ANC