Veteran lawyer Macalintal says no poll irregularity over 7-hour transmission delay


Posted at May 15 2019 04:27 PM | Updated as of May 15 2019 04:49 PM

MANILA - The 7-hour technical glitch that delayed parallel vote tallies after Monday's midterm elections is not a sign of irregularity, veteran election lawyer and failed Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Romulo Macalintal said Wednesday. 

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Macalintal, the first Otso Diretso candidate who conceded defeat in the senatorial race, quashed earlier qualms about the glitch and allegations that it could taint the credibility of the midterm polls.

"Wala akong duda ng ganun kasi imposible na magkaroon ng pagmamaniobra sa national pagkatapos sa local, hindi mangyayari," he said in an interview on DZMM's Failon Ngayon.

(I don't have those doubts because it is impossible to manipulate the results on the national level if there were no irregularities on the local level.)

"Hindi din naman nag-iiba sa mga resulta na ipinadala sa mga local candidates," he said.

(There is no discrepancy in the results sent to local candidates.)

Election results could neither be tampered with through malfunctioning SD cards, he noted. He said such issue has been the basis of electoral protests filed by defeated candidates since elections were automated in 2010. 

"...[P]ero at the end of the day, noong matapos ang mga election protest, walang napatunayan na ganun," he said.

(But at the end of the day, that has never been proven.)

"Lahat ng SD cards at 'yung resulta nung mga physical ballots nagta-tally sa mga resulta ng VCM (vote counting machine)," he said.

(All [data in] SD cards and results from physical ballots tally with results from the VCM.)

On Monday, parallel counts by watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and media organizations were stalled after an application error in the Commission on Elections transparency server failed to push data to their terminals. 

The poll body has committed to release error logs from the transparency server, election watchdog Legal Network for Truthful Elections said.