MANILA - Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday challenged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to prove the transparency of the 2016 elections.
This after he alleged last week that there was an early transmission of votes and foreign access to election servers used in the last automated elections.
"This issue on early transmission will be answered if Comelec will just promptly present the logs and corresponding contents of servers," he said in another privilege speech.
Sotto said the Comelec may have violated its own rules after its spokesperson James Jimenez said some precincts may have conducted final testing of vote transmissions from May 8 to 9, 2016 even while the poll body's rules stated that trials should have been conducted from May 2 to 6.
"Assuming arguendo that Comelec indeed allowed for an FTS (final testing) to be conducted a day before the elections, in the absence of an en banc resolution, does that mean that Comelec also allowed a transmission to be made at 1:12 a.m. on May 9?," Sotto asked.
The senator also criticized the Comelec's request for a copy of the documents on the supposed election fraud, saying the poll body has the same documents.
"Baka nagtataka lang sila paano ako nakakuha ng kopya?" Sotto said.
Sen. Francis Escudero has requested for a copy of the logs on the election servers but Comelec has yet to respond, Sotto said.
Sotto also criticized the supposed last minute decision to install 4 more election servers on May 10 and 11, a move which he claims “really tainted the outcome of the elections.”
“For some unknown reason, the transmissions from the VCM’s (vote counting machines) did not go straight to the Consolidating Canvassing System (CCS) but instead went through either 1 of the 4 queuing servers before reaching the CCS (Consolidating Canvassing System),” he said.
"Smartmatic may say that they deemed it prudent to install these queuing servers to ensure the accuracy of the transmissions but why install such on May 10 and 11 only?" he added, referring to the automated election system contractor.
The Comelec had earlier said Sotto's documents outlining the alleged irregularities during the 2016 elections were not enough to say that there was poll fraud.
"The Comelec and Smartmatic can fully and appropriately present their side in a full-blown Senate hearing," Sotto added.
-- with a report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News