Sen. Chiz urges Comelec: set date to review PCOS source code

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo

SORSOGON CITY ( – Senator Chiz Escudero wants the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to set a definite date for the review of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines source code, its absence a major source of uncertainty for the May 13 elections, online news Bicol learned on Wednesday.

“I have maintained that the source code for the 80,000 PCOS machines must be opened for checking by political parties and technology experts which is required under the Automated Polls Law,” Escudero said.

Escudero said the Comelec should set a definite date for the review of the source code instead of giving a daily rundown on the progress it has achieved in obtaining the code from its owner the US-based Dominion Voting Systems, which is an action the Comelec should have done much earlier.

“The statement of Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. saying that he is 95 percent certain of obtaining the source code from Dominion does not offer much consolation to those seeking to review the code at this close to election date,” the re-electionist Senator said.

Brillantes had explained earlier that a court dispute in Delaware between Dominion and PCOS supplier Smartmatic had resulted in the delay of the release of the source code.

The Comelec had fixed the review of the code for the consolidation and canvassing system (CCS) next week, but not the PCOS source code with Brillantes merely saying that a “big press conference” will be held to announce when the review will be held.

The Automated Poll Law provided that the source code should be reviewed by independent parties three months prior to the elections.

Almost a month to the 2013 midterm polls, Brillantes said that obtaining the code was 95 percent sure, but he said a few details still needed ironing out.

Escudero said that while he has full confidence in the Comelec to hold credible elections, an unverified source code can be a point of protest particularly among losing candidates that may cause major post-election problems.

He said questions and concerns on the credibility of the elections in May will be soothed only if Comelec finally let the source code be subjected to reviews. []


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