Bongbong urges Leni to back AES audit

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of vice-presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. yesterday called on rival Liberal Party (LP) bet Rep. Leni Robredo to support their demand for a technical audit of the automated election system (AES).

Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz, Marcos’ campaign adviser, said they are inviting Robredo as well as other political parties to join the audit once it has been allowed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

 “We are all searching for the truth, so we will welcome and invite her (Robredo) and LP if they want to send their own team of IT experts,” Dela Cruz said.

Marcos formally asked the Comelec to permit his team of IT experts and programmers to conduct within three days an audit of the transparency server and the central server under supervision of the poll body.

The Comelec said it is open to the call of Marcos for a system audit of the AES. “We are always open to reasonable requests for information. That is part and parcel of transparency,” Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said in an interview.

According to Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon, the poll body also plans to do system audit even without Marcos’ request.

“We are having our own audit and our people are already preparing their own reports to Congress,” she added.

Marcos’ legal counsel Jose Amorado said his client is seeking a technical audit to remove any doubt on the results of the May 2016 elections because of the introduction of the new script into the transparency server.

The Comelec admitted the introduction of the new script, but Amorado said the poll body set aside the interference as mere “cosmetic” change on the data uploaded on the transparency server.

“The implication of such change and of the admitted breach of protocols are gravely disconcerting and has cast serious doubts and raised questions,” Amorado noted.

Amorado said the Comelec can no longer assure that the data have not been altered in other ways after the security feature has been removed with the introduction of the new script. – With Sheila Crisostomo

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