Ombudsman urged to act on PCOS machine complaint

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A group is urging the Office of the Ombudsman to immediately act on the pending complaint against the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) removal of four safety features in the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, for fear of possible electoral sabotage in 2016.

In a petition submitted before the Ombudsman on Friday, Reform Philippines Coalition president Greco Belgica and vice president Atty. Glenn Chong asked the Ombudsman to look into the complaints filed by Dr. Nelson Solis, president of the Philippine Computer Society, against the Comelec, and members of the Technical Evaluation Committee and key officers of Smartmatic on June 29, 2010, and of Tanggulang Demokrasya Inc. and Bagumbayan-VNP Movement against the Comelec and key officers of Smartmatic on July 3, 2013.

"Hinihiling po namin that the Ombudsman act on this petition that has been with them for the last five years since 2010. Eh inupuan na po ito, dalawang eleksyon na ang nakalipas," said Belgica.

Both complained against the poll body's alleged violations after removing four key security features from the PCOS machines including the digital signatures, security source code review, ultra violet light and receipts.

Belgica said the Ombudsman should compel the Comelec to reinstall the said features in order to prevent electoral fraud in the 2016 elections.

"We want these security features restored as it is prescribed by law. Before 2016, in fact dapat ngayon na ito. This is implementable e... It is illegal for them not to apply everything," he said.

He explained that the digital signatures will prevent colorum signatures from entering the machines, while the ultra violet light will help in identifying tampered ballots.

"Napag-alaman namin na napakaraming transmission na hindi naman ibinato ng PCOS pero ini-register naman ng server. At the same time, ang transmission hindi naman galing sa PCOS na pinagbotohan natin," said Belgica.

He also pointed out the importance of the list of the candidates voted issued to every voter.

"Nakalagay sa resibo sino ang binoto natin. Nung nakaraang dalawang eleksyon, ang lumabas lang po ay 'Congratulations, your vote has been registered.' So we don't know if the vote has been registered or the PCOS is kargado na ng mga boto," he added.