Electoral sabotage rap filed vs Smartmatic officers

By Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2015 11:46 PM | Updated as of Jul 31 2015 08:31 PM

MANILA - A group led by former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Gus Lagman on Thursday filed before the poll body's Law Department a case against Smartmatic officials Albert Castro Rico, Marlon Garcia and Cesar Flores for electoral sabotage during the 2013 midterm elections.

The group alleged that on May 13, 2013, Rico and Garcia tampered with the script of the source code to adjust the results received and reported by the Transparency Server of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

The group defended the timing of their case, saying that the Comelec should not put the credibility of the 2016 elections at stake with their bias for Smartmatic.

The poll body is set to award to Smartmatic the P1.7-billion contract for the lease purchase of 23,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

For his part, Flores, Smartmatic president for Asia-Pacific, called Lagman's electoral sabotage charge "absurd," saying it is a "desperate" measure to stop the Comelec's efforts to fully automate next year's elections.

"This absurd charge is also obviously being used as a smokescreen to cover up the embarrassing fact that Lagman's so-called hybrid system was soundly rejected and adjudged as a monumental failure by all stakeholders for being unfinished and poorly-prepared," Flores said.

He said Smartmatic has nothing to hide, and they trust the poll body will dismiss the case as baseless.

"Instead of filing one nuisance case after another in their efforts to stop election automation, these people should just try to help and support the Comelec," he said.