The Commission on Elections (Comelec) denied the request of vice presidential hopeful Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr to audit the servers used in the recently concluded May 9 polls.
The poll body made this unanimous decision on Tuesday, a day before the start of national canvassing in the Congress. However, Chairman Andres D. Bautista said that Comelec is open to a systems audit by disinterested, nonpartisan and qualified information technology experts, such as members of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) or the Comelec Advisory Council.
“Transparency is important too, which is why we say we’re open for disinterested parties to conduct the system audit,” Bautista said.
The son and namesake of the late dictator filed a formal letter to Comelec last week, demanding a systems audit. His complaint stemmed from an unauthorized script change introduced by Smartmatic on the night of the May 9 elections while the transmission of votes was going on.
However, Comelec and Smartmatic explained that change in the script did not affect the counting of the votes. Change in the script only involved substituting “?” that appeared in the names of certain candidates with “ñ.” Chairman Bautista also said that the change in the so-called hash code is only "cosmetic" in nature.