Comelec website displaying reduced senatorial votes

GOTCHA - Jarius Bondoc - The Philippine Star

The Comelec website has reduced the official number of senatorial votes in the last May 13 election. For what reason, it doesn’t say.

In the new “Philippines Election Results,” senatorial top-notcher Poe has only 16 million-plus votes. This is four million less than her old official result of 20 million-plus.

The new website posting has all 33 senatorial candidates with less votes then previously announced. Their deductions range from four million to 100,000 (see 2013electionresults.comelec.gov.ph).

The 12 senatorial winners in the old list are still in the new one. But two rankings have switched. Cayetano, previously No. 3 in the old list, slipped to No. 4 in the new one; Escudero, hitherto No. 4, leapt to No. 3.

Also lessened in the Comelec site is the voter turnout, now only 31,568,679. This is 8,330,313 lower than its previous posting of June 7 up to the first week of July: 39,898,992.

The Comelec no longer prominently displays that older June 7 posting, but needs to be searched under other files and headings.

The new Comelec results contradict the June 5, 2013, resolution of the chairman and the six commissioners, acting as the national board of canvassers. In that Resolution No. 0010-13, they declared the final tabulation of the 33 candidates’ votes, and the rankings of the 12 winners (see http://www.comelec.gov.ph/?r=Elections/2013natloc/res/nbocres001013).

The resolution was posted on the Comelec website on June 7 till the first week of July. The votes of the 12 winners were far higher then than the latest posting (see Comparative Table).

Aside from Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., the other resolution signatories were Commissioners Lucenito Tagle, Elias Yusoph, Christian Lim, Grace Padaca, Al Parreño, and Luie Guia.

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The unannounced new Comelec posting was documented only last Thursday, July 11th, by members of the poll watchdog AES (Automated Election Systems) Watch. In e-mail exchanges two AES Watchers said the reductions were not yet there the prior Thursday.

They deduced that the vote cuts could be a Comelec cover-up of an anomaly last election. That is, that there were more votes than voters.

A third AES Watcher said the new website posting of July 11 cannot take the place of the signed Comelec resolution of June 5.

One senator’s chief of staff noticed that the posting of July 11 at first had a disclaimer, to wit, that the new results were based on the Comelec’s transparency server, and so may not jibe with the official canvass.

The next day the disclaimer was gone. Meaning, said one AES Watcher: “This is a work in progress, and the plot thickens. For, why post such disclaimer about the figures, then remove it so the new figures now look ‘official’?”

The only legends that remain in the revised new posting are “Results Date: May 29, 2013 8:27:02 AM PHT” and “Copyright © 2000-2013 Smartmatic International, all rights reserved".

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Earlier last week a Malacañang insider had told a Comelec critic about the reduction of votes in the website. A news-blog also alleged that Brillantes, with some commissioners and Comelec officers, had met with a Palace official. They supposedly were instructed to "clean up the mess" with the voting machines and compact-flash cards of its Venezuelan automation supplier, Smartmartic. To do that, Brillantes purportedly was given P30 million.

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Comelec and Smartmatic are under fire for what mathematicians, statisticians, and info-technologists call "incredible, improbable" results. Smartmatic's voting machines (precinct count optical scanners, or PCOS) and CF cards produced a 60-30-10 percent vote trend for administration, opposition, and independent candidates. The trend was consistent in all precincts and provinces, regardless of voters' differing political and cultural-religious leanings.

There was also suspicion that the Comelec did not finish both its precinct count and national canvassing, lest it be revealed that there were more votes than voters (see Gotcha, 1 July 2013).

When the Comelec proclaimed the last three of the 12 winners on the night of May 18, it had canvassed only 129, or 42 percent, of the “304 certificates of canvass (CoCs) containing 39,898,992 votes.”


It said then that the remaining 175 CoCs, or 58 percent, were not enough to overcome the votes of the Top 12. Indeed, by then, they already had votes ranging from 20 million to 13 million.

It looked odd. The 304 CoCs are from 234 congressional districts and overseas absentee balloting. Except for tiny districts like Batanes, most have voters of 100,000 to 200,000-plus. The Comelec national canvass had started on May 14 with the low-turnout overseas CoCs.

Therefore, with the balance of 175 CoCs, or 58 percent, the votes of the Top 12 would likely double, or 40 million to 26 million. But that would mean an unusually high turnout from the 52 million registered voters in an unexciting midterm election.

And yet, when the Comelec announced the completion of the 175 balance CoCs, the votes of the Top 12 increased by only 190,000 to 72,000 votes. The balance seemed to have been doctored, so that the Top 12 would get the usual votes percentages as in recent past senatorial polls.

The 39,898,9920-voter turnout, or 76.7 percent, was odd too. The turnout in the hotly contested presidential election of 2010 was less than that. And at the closing of balloting last May 13, 2013, Brillantes had estimated a 65-percent turnout, around 33.8 million.

So the reduced turnout of 31,568,679 in the new Comelec posting seems to make things palatable.

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Readers continue to ask about the case of Pasay City, where there indeed were more votes than voters (Gotcha, 3 July 2013). May I refer them to the complainants’ rep, blogger-lawyer Mel Mauricio: batasmauricio@yahoo.com; (0917) 9842468, (0918) 5740193, (0922) 8334396.

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Catch Sapol radio show, Saturdays, 8-10 a.m., DWIZ, (882-AM).

Gotcha archives on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jarius-Bondoc/1376602159218459, or in The STAR website: http://www.philstar.com/author/Jarius%20Bondoc/GOTCHA.

E-mail: jariusbondoc@gmail.com

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