Source code opened this week for review

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Political parties and other interested groups can review the source code of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines before the elections on May 13.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the certified source code has been in the country since Sunday.

It is now moot for the Supreme Court (SC) to hold oral arguments on the source code, he added.

Brillantes said a review of the source code will likely not be completed until after election day.

“I think review can start, but it will not be finished immediately,” he said.

Brillantes did not say why Dominion Voting System suddenly agreed to settle with Smartmatic International Corp. for the release of the certified source code.

A representative of Dominion will arrive today.

Brillantes said the mandamus petition of United Nationalist Alliance senatorial candidate Richard Gordon to allow the local review is now useless because of the Comelec’s acquisition of the source code.

“But we have no time so what we will do is appear before the SC and convince (former) senator Gordon not to push through with the case anymore,” he said.

In a local review, experts would check if the source code complies with technical requirements.

They would also look for possible flaws and ensure that there would not be any manipulation of election results.

Comelec’s third party reviewer, the Denver-based SLI Global Solutions, brought the source code to the country last Sunday.

Palace defends Comelec

Malacañang believes the Comelec has not been remiss in resolving poll cases on time as some have alleged.

In a statement, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Comelec has so many legal issues to resolve before the elections on May 13, like the accreditation of some party-list groups, the source code issue and glitches in hundreds of PCOS machines.

The ruling on party-list groups virtually deprived the Comelec of the opportunity to file an appeal in the SC due to obvious time constraints, she added.

Valte said the Comelec has its hands full every election year. “Perhaps that is also given that they have many things to do all at the same time.

“So, obviously, we assume that they (Comelec) have prepared the correct contingencies,” she said.

Valte said glitches in the PCOS machines are minimal.

“They have anticipated the glitches, and they need to address those glitches immediately in time for Monday. Well, again, we have to put it in perspective. Out of the thousands (of PCOS machines) that were tested, how many had registered glitches? 100-something...”

Valte reminded the public to adhere to the liquor ban beginning tomorrow until election day to avoid punishment.

“It’s a short public service information that can be found on the Official Gazette about certain things that everybody should know about the liquor ban, which is in place in connection with the elections on Monday,” she said.

The Omnibus Election Code  prohibits  any person from selling, furnishing, offering, buying or serving liquor during the ban.

However, hotels and other establishments certified by the government as tourist-oriented may be exempted from the ban.

The law allows drinking alcoholic beverages within private property and foreign tourists may take alcoholic beverages in exempted establishments. – With Delon Porcalla, Aurea Calica

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