Changes made by Smartmatic affected polls results, says IT expert, professor

By , on May 17, 2016


During a press briefing, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon told reporters that Smartmatic's "cosmetic" alteration was unauthorised. (Photo: Comelec En Banc/Twitter)
During a press briefing, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon told reporters that Smartmatic’s “cosmetic” alteration was unauthorised. (Photo: Comelec En Banc/Twitter)

MANILA – An Information Technology (IT) expert and a professor are convinced that the alteration conducted by Smartmatic on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Transparency Server has an effect on election results.

With this, IT lawyer Rogelio Quevedo, and social science Professor Antonio Contreras urged the poll body to conduct a forensic investigation of the entire automated election (AES) system since the integrity of the 2016 has been put under a cloud of doubt due to the admission that the system had an unauthorized interference by the service provider in the just concluded polls.

“I could categorically state that it is not accurate that a mere change in the hash codes will not result into pandaraya kasi parang masyado inaccurate yung statement na lumabas e,” said the law professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) in a statement.

Quevedo, who is a member of the Comelec Advisory Council pointed out that the mere change in dashcode during the transmission period meant something was not right.

Although, he refused to say whether such change caused cheating in the transmission, it is precisely the reason why the Comelec should order an independent forensic investigation to erase all doubts created by the admission of unauthorized change.

“Yung password, yung change ng dashcode meant something was not right and the proper step should be is for the conduct of a forensic investigation preferably by the Technical Evaluation Committee which I think is quite independent and they are familiar with the vote counting machine technology,” Quevedo said.

The UP professor added, “Makikita naman yun e dun sa historical record, it is preserved.”

For his part, Contreras noted that based on the evaluation he conducted with David Yap, his fellow university professor, revealed that the rise and fall of all the vice presidential candidates showed a uniform pattern which created a linear line.

He pointed out that such occurrence was not normal in elections especially when results from all areas were being transmitted on random.

“Dapat may spike na pataas at ababa, depends sa areas sa pumapasok pero sa vice presidential race, isang line lang na pataas and then after the 80 percent transmission rate, bumaba na si Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in a linear line na talagang abnormal,” he said.

Contreras explained that the linear line can only be the result of the data having been manipulated or a system introduced which should not be there.

“Hindi lamang po si Marcos at (Rep. Leni) Robredo ang inaral namin, lahat po ay inaral namin sa vice presidential race. Lahat ng pares lahat sila nagkaroon ng straight line. Yung iba mas straight pa sa iba at hindi po mangyayari yun kung ang transmission ay hindi nagkaroon ng ibang program kung iyon ay kumikilos kung saan galing. Pataas pa rin sya pero hindi sya magiging perfect lahat. Tingin namin may manipulation na nangyari,” he said.

At the same time, both of them added that they were not supporting a particular candidate but were merely interested in ensuring the integrity of the elections.