Tuesday, June 8, 2010

NGO wants review of the automated election system

NON-GOVERMENTAL ORGANIZATION ASKS FOR REVIEW OF THE AUTOMATED ELECTION SYSTEM: The Center for People Empowerment in Governance (or CenPEG) seems not about ready yet to simply throw in the towel over allegations that, at the very least, computer errors may have affected the results of the May 2010 elections.

Here is a press release from CenPEG that I thought would interest many of us: “The policy research institution, Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), is seeking the release of at least 22 documents related to the Automated Election System (AES) prepared and implemented for the May 10, 2010 national synchronized polls.

“CenPEG said `various stakeholders (need) to help find answers to many questions that affect the credibility of the elections, especially with regard to some unusual incidences occurring with the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines of the Smartmatic-propelled automated system.’

“ `An objective study can only be done if pertinent data and information, relevant to the study at hand, shall be accessible and available to researchers and scholars, so that a no-nonsense body of knowledge can be developed in the interest of public service and good governance,’ CenPEG added, as it also pledged confidentiality and a copy of the final draft of the study and recommendations.

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CENPEG WROTE CONGRESS TO ASK FOR 22 DOCUMENTS ON THE COMPUTERIZED POLLS: “On May 21, CenPEG wrote the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee (JCOC) to help it gain access to needed information on the AES and to form an independent, non-partisan, and impartial citizens' body to review and assess the conduct of the May 10, 2010 automated elections, including the processes and procedures undertaken for the May 10 election.

“CenPEG and AES Watch, a multisectoral coalition of poll watchdogs, are active citizen resource groups in the JCOC.

“The documents CenPEG is asking for are: SysTest full report; source code walkthrough plan; source code of the PCOS program; source code of the CCS programs; file formats of all data files used or produced by the PCOS program; file formats of all data files used or produced by the CCS program; public keys used by all the PCOS computers.

“It is also seeking the public keys used by all the CCS computers; user manual of the PCOS program; user manual of the CCS program; Smartmatic-Comelec contract with the complete annexes; finance and budget plan of the AES-Smartmatic; copy of the Smartmatic Voters’ Education contract; contract between Smartmatic and the Dominion Voting Systems and contract on transmission and deployment plan of the transmission facilities.

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WHAT IS COMELEC’S REACTION? “CenPEG wants also a copy of the report on the PCOS transmission on May 10 and thereafter; report on the customization; old ballot faces (national and local) matching the faulty CF cards; new ballot faces (national and local) actually used for the May 10 elections; report on the training of BEIs and technicians; inventory of compact flash cards used in the final testing and sealing; and the re-configured CF cards for May 10.

“CenPEG’s request letter was signed by Evi-Ta L. Jimenez, executive director and noted by Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, chair of its Board of Directors.” Has the Commission on Elections, Smartmatic-TIM and all other affected parties have anything to say on this? What did Congress do to CenPEG’s request to be given copies of the foregoing documents?

About truth and its beneficial effects, let us listen to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, in John 8:31-32 of the Holy Bible. This part of the Holy Book says: Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Will the Filipino people want to be free from misgivings about the credibility and accuracy and honesty of the May 2010 elections?

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