Comelec vows to explain 7-hour ‘bottleneck’ in transparency server

Following calls from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday, May 21, assured it will provide a detailed technical explanation on the delays encountered in the 2019 midterm elections.

Photo credit: abra.gov.ph

“We will (explain the bottlenecks). I just can’t give the technical explanation now because obviously, it will be the technical people who will be doing that,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez in a press briefing at the National Board of Canvassers’ headquarters in Pasay City.

Around 6 p.m. on May 13, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) of the election system received a deluge of data causing a glitch that resulted in the delay during the pick-up of results.

According to Jimenez, the glitch was the first of its kind since the elections were automated as it was also “the first time” the Comelec used the FTP application.

“Back then, from the transparency server, the data are loaded in a USB stick and then the USB stick will be transported to the computer of media. That is a little insecure, especially since the FTP is already available. FTP was considered the superior solution, the problem is that the FTP caused bottlenecks,” he pointed out.

While the PPCRV already confirmed Comelec’s explanation for the delay, the poll watchdog is still awaiting a detailed answer from the Comelec.

On Tuesday, some groups also filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against the Comelec and Smartmatic over issues encountered in the automated polls.

The complainants Manuel Galvez of Mata sa Balota, Diego Magpantay of Citizens’ Watch, Nelson Celis, and Melchor Magdamo seek the “immediate preventive suspension” of Comelec executive director Jose Tolentino and several others, including the management of Smartmatic, accusing them of “serious dishonesty” and “gross neglect of duty”.

“Comelec credibility has been and continues to be steadily eroding from 1987 to 2019. Election technology has been a monopoly of Smartmatic since 2009. Around P20 billion have already been paid to Smartmatic without public bidding for the 2013, 2016, 2019 polls,” the complainants said.

In its complaint, the groups said the “latest electoral disaster, which mainstream media downplay as ‘glitch’, is perhaps the worst in Philippine election history in terms of machine malfunctions that appear intentional-pretending-to-be-accidental.” — Joyce Ann L. Rocamora (PNA)

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