Prof seeks independent probe of automated poll system


A political science professor on Wednesday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to conduct a forensic investigation into its Automated Election System (AES) amid claims of electoral fraud in the vice presidential race.

Prof. Antonio Contreras of De La Salle University said an independent body should look into allegations of transmission manipulation. Contreras said statistician David Yap earlier noticed "abnormal patterns" in the quick count for vice presidential candidates.

He said Yap employed a trendline on the rise and fall of Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in the unofficial results, and the equation resulted to an almost perfect line instead of the typical zigzag.

In his own analysis, Contreras also argued bailiwick votes could not be used to explain why Marcos lost his early lead to Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.

"Kung ang naunang nagbuga ng boto ay iyung mga balwarte ni Marcos at ito ay mga less than 50 percent lang ng Pilipinas ang populasyon, bakit naghintay pa at nakarating pa ng 80-percent transmission rate bago bumaba ang kanyang lamang?" he claimed.

"Dapat sana, bago pa nag-eighty percent, mga 40, 50 percent pa lang, bumababa na ang lamang ni Marcos kaso nauubos na ang kanyang mga balwarte."

Statisticians and data experts have questioned the analysis of Yap and Contreras that there was cheating in the vice-presidential race, saying the two failed to factor in the transmission rate of votes.

In a Facebook post, Jan Carlo Punongbayan, a PhD student at the UP School of Economics, said the collective message of many statisticians is that the analysis by Yap and Contreras is founded on misguided assumptions (e.g. a supposed randomness of the transmission of election results) and erroneous methods (e.g., inappropriate linear regressions).

- DZMM TeleRadyo 2016, 18 April 2016

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