Category: About Us Written by The Bohol Chronicle
A multi-sectoral call echoed last week to have detailed measures on how to ensue there is no fraud done through the manipulation or tampering of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines during the May elections.
Gov. Edgar Chatto sounded off the call amid reports that some groups are hell bent to win in the coming elections by using a syndicate which operates to manipulate the results of the coming election.
The governor issued the call for concerted efforts to protect the sanctity of the votes to be counted by the PCOS machines,
He said that in line with the church's call for vigilance in the coming election, , there should be a group of well meaning citizens who would comprise the pool of volunteers to oversee the "testing and sealing" of the PCOS machines to be done a week before the election.
Gov. Chatto engaged the services of Boholano lawyers based inManilato support the pool of volunteers who will watch the PCOS machines.
On the part of the Commission on Elections, the members of the Board of Election Inspectors were briefed on how the PCOS machines operate. Their two-day training ended last Friday.
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 March 2013 01:47
Category: About Us Written by The Bohol Chronicle
Team PNoy senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar assured to help empower Filipino women because 50 percent of our population are women and more than 50 percent of our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are also women.
The former Las Pinas representative will be at the Bohol Cultural Center on Wednesdsay for the culmination of the Women's Month celebration -after her arrival via private plane at the city airport.
Speaking in yesterday's celebration of the Women's Month in Pampanga, Villar also divulged that 95 percent of the OFWs who were provided assistance by the Villar Foundation's Sagip-OFW were women.
Villar, known as “Misis Hanep Buhay,” is the managing director of the Villar Foundation, which has been helping our OFWs from different countries in the past 20 years.
Some of these OFWs, Villar said, were maltreated by their employers, and worse, sexually abused and raped.
Because of this, Villar vowed she would not stop helping women and empowering them to become productive members of the society.
She remains thankful to Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda and other local officials for inviting her to the momentous event to recognize the important role being played by women.
“The women is the sector closest to my heart being a woman and a public servant,” stressed Villar.
She said it is always a pleasure for her to interact and be with her fellow women.
“As you know, I personally advocate for the empowerment of women across all sectors. It is my belief that women play an important role in nation-building,” she said.
“And I am happy that the leadership of Pampanga under Gov. Pineda share my love for women,” she further said.
She said the country needs more empowered women because when “we empower women, we empower families and generations of people”.
She related that when she was congresswoman of the lone district of Las Pinas from 2001- 2010, she prioritized legislations that uphold the welfare of women and family.
Among these pieces of legislations are the Magna Carta of Women and the Anti-Violence against Women and Anti-Trafficking against Women and Children Law.
And as managing director of the Villar Foundation, Villar said she has been pursuing programs that would redound to the benefit of women.
Her “Hanep Buhay” campaign slogan promises job opportunities for women through her livelihood projects.
“Nanininawala kasi ako na hanep ang buhay pag may hanapbuhay,” pointed out by “Misis Hanep Buhay.” /
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 March 2013 14:04
Category: About Us Written by The Bohol Chronicle
A growing number of concerned citizens have expressed fears that the automated elections in May 2013 would be vulnerable to massive manipulation due to the "unsafe" machines used by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
This despite assurances issued by Prov'l Comelec Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano who told the Chronicle yesterday that errors during the 2007 polls were already corrected. He said the PCOS machines will be arriving here seven days before election day to enable both, testing and sealing of the machines in all voting precints.
In an online poll, the Chronicle has found that most Boholanos believe that the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines could be used to reverse the electoral decision of the people, a belief rooted in the events that led to the surprising results of the 2010 national elections.
Atty. Julius Gregory Delgado, a Boholano lawyer working at the FIRM, the country's most influential and biggest law firm, in an exclusive interview, said that there were a lot of loopholes discovered in the 2010 elections which remain uncorrected to these days.
“It is undisputed that there were discrepancies between the uploaded/transmitted precinct results in the CCS of city/municipal BOCs and the printed election returns from PCOS Machines,” revealed Delgado, Bohol's first district coordinator of the 2010 Elections Aquino-Roxas Bantay Balota.
“As admitted by the COMELEC, in COMELEC Resolution No. 8914, this was caused by erroneously saving the FTS or Final Testing and Sealing results instead of the actual precinct vote count in the back-up CF cards that were used in uploading/transmitting to the next canvassing level, to the COMELEC Central and Backup Severs and to the KBP Server,” he explained.
Delgado pointed out that in a letter etter dated May 27, 2010 to the Joint Congressional Committee by Executive Director Jose Tolentino Jr., a total of at least 285 clustered precincts covering at least 186,275 votes were affected by the erroneous transmission of FTS results.
Delgado disclosed that that during the 2010 elections there were two million null votes.
“Surprisingly or incidentally, most of these null votes were in the bailiwick of Senator Mar Roxas or in the Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.
“Even if it is an automated elections, it is susceptible to tampering and manipulation because there is human intervention,” Delgado disclosed.
Atty. Delgado, consenting to the Chronicle interview in his capacity as a private citizen and voter, said that the source code is the most important element of the automated elections because “this is the central program directing the PCOS machines how to read ballots.
“The parties, at least the majority or dominant and the minority, should be allowed to conduct a source code review,” Delgado said.
The Boholano lawyer said that safeguards to a credible and honest election were not followed in the 2010 elections like the Random Manual Audit wherein the Comelec was supposed to do random sampling in every municipality.
In a separate online interview, Atty. Nilo G. Ahat, an election expert and Boholano lawyer based in Cebu City, said that “while the integrity of the digital aspect of the automation election system is technically and legally defensible, the voting process does not seem to complement the concept of automation which presupposes faster result.”
Asked whether an automated elections in the Philippines would be free from fraud and the results honest, Ted Ramasola, a Boholano tech/digital genius based in the USA, replied: “My short answer is no. My long answer is: it takes more than automation to make an electoral exercise honest and fraud-free.”
Ramasola said the people should take “a long hard look at the institutions of the country that are involved in the whole electoral exercise. He posed the following questions: “Are they fair? Are they impartial? What is at stake for them for making sure the election turns out they way it should?”
Valerio “Rio” Makinano III, a Boholano based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), also told the Chroniclethat election fraud can still happen despite automation.
“It is man who made these computers/machines, so it is man who also knows how to manipulate them. Regardless how secure the machine is, there are still hackers dedicating their lives to unlock (the source code) and sell their services to politicians,” Makinano said in a Facebook message to the Chronicle.
Complementing Makinano's statement, Delgado, on the other hand, cited the American election experience in 2000 that saw George Bush and Al Gore contesting the Florida poll result.
“They used touchscreen system. But there were reports that buttons did not match the pictures of the candidates. If you push the button for Gore it counted to the adjacent candidate in the screen, Pat Buchanan of the Reform Party. Buchanan got many votes when we know only candidates from the Democrat and Republican parties get many votes,” recalled Delgado.
TRUST and PCOS MACHINE
Atty. Lahat said he still trusts in the PCOS Machine, “and the combination of software and hardware that comprise it, and I trust that it can really function as such.”
“Given its encryption level which is expressed in “undecillion”, hacking is next to impossible. In fact as a matter of comparison, the lotto machine which has a much lower encryption level has never been heard to be hacked. Legally, I also trust in the automation project, which was already reviewed and approved by no less than our Supreme Court setting en banc in ROQUE vs COMELEC, G.R. No. 188456, 10 Sept. 2009,” Ahat told the Chroncle.
Ahat narrated that he had the occasion to observe in the last election that the Comelec's concept of “clustering of precinct” was the cause of delay “because the clustered precinct shared only one Board of Election Tellers (BET).”
“So in a clustered precinct of four, the BET will have to look at four voter's list,” Atty. Ahat said.
He expounded: “This is where the process is snail paced. And most of the time the PCOS lays idle while a kilometric line of voters queue for their turn to vote. It would have been different if the individual precincts are allowed to vote separately with their own BET, and then they will only share one PCOS Machine. This is more logical than the Comelec's concept because it takes lesser time to feed the ballot into the PCOS than to secure and accomplish the ballot.”
Meanwhile, former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman said that “no mock election conducted by Smartmatic ever yielded accuracy of 99.995 percent or better.”
The Automation Law of 2008 and the Comelec-Smartmatic contract of 2009 required that rate, Lagman was quoted by Philippine Star columnist Jarius Bondoc as saying.
In the said column, Bondoc, quoting words from Lagman, said that “compact-flash memory cards inside the PCOS contain computer commands for proper functioning. The CF cards found in the Cagayan de Oro city dump showed how easy it was to steal them.”
“The 60 PCOS units found in the house of a Smartmatic technician in Antipolo, Rizal, showed how easy it was to hijack the machine itself,” the columnist said.
“In 2010 the PCOS had an open port outside. Through that open port, a techie could connect a laptop and tamper with the software and CF cards inside,” Bondoc noted.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 13:50
Category: Headlines Written by The Bohol Chronicle
The only two winner councilors from the Gonzaga team are deemed crucial to tilting the balance of power in the next, three-faction Sangguniang Panlungsod of Tagbilaran City.
Councilor-elect Alexander “Aleckoy” Lim has foreseen himself and reelected ally Kag. Alberta Torralba playing a critical role in the passage or rejection of legislative measures that necessitate house division, divisive votes.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:00