Comelec open to full system audit

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Commission on Elections is open to have a full system audit of the automated election system amid allegations of poll irregularities by the camp of vice presidential candidate and Senator Ferdinand ''Bongbong'' Marcos Jr.

Marcos' camp has officially asked the poll body to open the AES for full audit, saying the introduction of a new computer command in the poll body's server has put to question the credibility of the elections.

READ: Marcos camp wants public audit of automated poll system

The namesake and only son of the late dictator is currently trailing Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo by a slim margin. Both camps have already declared victory ahead of the conclusion of the official counting.

In a short interview at the Comelec's command center at the Philippine International Convention Center on Wednesday, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the poll body has always been very transparent to the public, as evidenced by opening the source codes of the major components of the AES for independent review.

"Itong mga systems natin napasailalim na ito sa source code review, review ng mga political parties, at sabi ko nga kami always open to reasonable requests for information. That is part and parcel of transparency," Bautista said.

Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said that even before the petition by the Marcos camp, the poll body has already been preparing its own audit of the system.

"Our people are preparing their own report to Congress, so since Senator Marcos is still in office he will also get a copy of the Commission on Elections report to Congress," she said.

Comelec said the computer code was introduced only to change the ''?" to ''ñ'' in the names of the candidates. Marcos, however, said he could not help but think that the modification was used to shave his votes and pad those of his closest rival.