Data found in SD cards of unused vote counting machines

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2017 05:54 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections on Monday found data in some supposedly unused vote counting machines used in the last elections.

The poll body decrypted or unlocked another 26 SD cards, after an initial 127 cards were also found to contain data. The cards were from 1,356 backup counting machines.

The decryption of SD cards was headed by Comelec's Election Records and Statistics Department (ERSD) Director Ester L. Villaflor-Roxas, and was witnessed by several parties, including representatives of losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and watchdog group Automated Election System Watch. 

At least 13 of the 26 SD cards decrypted as of noon were found to contain data. The ERSD, however, has not determined the exact contents of the SD cards or whether these could alter election results.

But lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ spokesperson, said the mere presence of data in the SD cards strengthened their position that there was cheating in the May 9, 2016 elections. 

"This is all planned. This is all part of Plan B," he said.

Rodriguez said that this discovery will have an impact on the election protest filed by Marcos at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) against Vice President Leni Robredo.