Poll 'operators' are swindlers, Brillantes warns

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2013 06:39 PM | Updated as of Feb 07 2013 02:39 AM

MANILA - Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes on Wednesday told a congressional panel that he has been getting calls from candidates who have supposedly been approached by people introducing themselves as "operators" who can allegedly manipulate the PCOS machines to ensure their victory for a fee.

Brillantes, however, told politicians and the public to beware of these"swindlers."

"Pag ino-offeran kayo, tanggapin offer at entrap natin. I'm 100% sure na swindlers lang ito. Eto operators ng manual (elections), wala na silang hanapbuhay eh. They've converted selves to swindlers," he said. "We cannot do anything, kami, po puro hearsay [ang info]. Kung meron ho, tanggapin, listen, and you will surely determine na swindlers eto."

Brillantes is concerned that small-town politicians might actually believe some of these offers.

"Magbibigay kami ng public warning to make sure nobody (gets) swindled," he said. "They were not able to manipulate anything. We don't expect this to happen. Di mauubusan ng marunong manloko ng tao."

Brillantes was asked about this during a joint congressional oversight committee on the automated elections hearing on poll preparations.

Earlier, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano called on the Comelec to offer as much as P5 or P10 million to hackers who can help the poll body identify vulnerabilities in the PCOS machines that can be exploited by poll cheats.

Brillantes, however, seemed dismissive of the idea. "Humahanap pa kami ng maghack, wala pa makakahack. Dapat matagal na. Huwag na kayo maghanapbuhay. Pag manual, saka kayo maghanap-buhay. Makakaloko kayo, pero makakadaya."