Binay seeks source code review

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2013 05:47 PM | Updated as of Mar 05 2013 01:47 AM

MANILA - Vice-President Jejomar Binay is seeking a source code review of the automated election system on behalf of his political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes said his office received the letter from Binay, who leads the PDP-Laban under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

At the same time, he said the poll body will screen the interest groups who will ask to review the source codes, including groups like AESWatch.

Brillantes and AESwatch have clashed publicly on the poll body's preparations for the elections.

"We have to see kung ano presinta nila. If they ask for a review, if they fall under the qualification we provided for, meron nakalagay requirements which the advisory committee gave us. Meron din qualifications (like) 4 years IT. Not everybody can see the source code. Meron security requirements. Di pwede ilabas yan, (may) signing of non-disclosure agreements,” he said.

Under the automated elections law, the source codes must be opened up to review by the political parties and interest groups.

"Para ma-clear sa political parties na malinis, di pwede galawin, humahanap ka ng malicious lines or instructions,” the poll chief said.

Brillantes said the poll body is preparing for the source code review of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines and the consolidation and canvassing system (CCS) by the political parties and interest groups.

"Oo, we came out with a reso today on that process of review of the source code. We’re offering CCS source code and, depending on availability, either Dominion or Smartmatic source code,” he said.

This is even if the PCOS source code remains in the hands of 3rd-party certifier SLI Global Solutions because of the collection claims of source code owner Dominion Voting Systems and its estranged licensee, Smartmatic.

Brillantes previously pointed out that the source code of the CCS, the system which consolidates and canvasses the PCOS-generated precinct election returns in the municipal, city, provincial and national levels, is already available for review.

The poll chief said that by Thursday or Friday, he will make an announcement on the fate of the PCOS source code review pending further negotiations with the warring suppliers.

Brillantes said that should SLI still not bring the source code, they will instead use Smartmatic's source code.

"Antayin na natin mangyayari Thursday. Whatever happens, I’ll have to file a report on Thursday or Friday, if we come out with an agreement with Dominion. If Dominion doesn't agree, then I also announce no agreement, then the source code will not be brought here by SLI. We will just make use of the Smartmatic source code, which is the same as the source code reviewed by SLI,” he said.

Brillantes is hoping he can still negotiate the return of the source code by SLI since "it will resolve all issues regarding the source code, all of the fears. The questions on credibility can be settled once and for all, we're definitely proceeding with the elections.”