MANILA, Philippines — Software provider Smartmatic Inc. on Monday assured that the May 2022 elections would be secure and no data breach of their servers.
During a House hearing, Smartmatic Legal Counsel Christopher Louie Ocampo said the Automated Election System (AES) source code and software were subjected to extensive audits, both locally and internationally.
Ocampo said Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) servers and infrastructure are independent and that the poll body never shares electoral data with Smartmatic
He said no hacking took place in their own system, and that their former employee is completely unrelated to Philippine elections.
“He downloaded non-sensitive, day-to-day operational materials from a repository readily available to all Smartmatic staff,” he said.
Meanwhile, Committee Vice-Chairperson and Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. meticulously probed the ballot printing process, as well as the absence of representatives during its printing process.
“Ang problema lamang, nakita niyo ang mga balota na mali, hindi niyo in-inform ang mga (The problem is you found the ballots are wrong, you did not inform) political parties, including the public. Pangalawa, noong ni-reprint ninyo, hindi niyo rin in-inform ang mga (Second, when you reprinted, you did not inform the) observers. And that is the reason why everybody is doubting whether or not these ballots printed or reprinted are actually accurate or not. At palagi naman natin sinasabi ang kahalagahan ng halalan (We always mention the importance of elections),” Barzaga said.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia clarified that not all of the reported 5,992,763 printed ballots are totally defective.
He stated that as of Monday, Comelec had identified 105,853 purely defective ballots.
“Iba po talaga ‘yong height, iba po ‘yong size. Iyong color po talaga medyo hindi po nagtutugma doon sa (The height and size is different. The color does not match in the) color as required by our guideline specifications. Pagkatapos po may mga nudge, may mga smudge po sa balota (Then, the ballots have nudges, smudges),” Garcia added.