Issue on PCOS source code review heats up

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Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Sixto Brillantes has, in fact, challenged IT expert Augsuto ?Gus? Lagman to a debate after accusing the latter of spreading ?misleading? information to the public. In a report, Brillantes said Lagman has been telling the media that the ?the absence of the source code will affect the elections.? On Monday, the Comelec chief said there is no longer time to acquire the source code from Dominion Systems, the company who sold the PCOS machines to poll contractor Smartmatic. He, however, said the source code is only for the review of political parties and will not affect the validity of the elections. Lagman, himself a former Comelec commissioner, has maintained that the Comelec is violating the law by not releasing the source code to the public. He said he is also willing to debate with Brillantes on the issue. CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action chairman Bishop Broderick Pabillo also twitted Brillantes, saying that he cannot openly flout the law. Another IT stalwart, Dr. Pablo Manalastas of Ateneo de Manila University, also said the Comelec ?is sorely in need of database and network administrators”. ?? [L]awyers pretending to be computer administrators simply can not cut it! They have no K[arapatan],? Manalastas said in a Facebook post. But, Renato ?Tato? Garcia, an IT consultant of the Comelec, said in another Facebook post that there had been ?several successful completion of source code reviews which formed part of the Systest (later renamed to SLI) international certification and audits conducted in AES2010, in preparation for ARMM 2011 and the AES 2013?. AES refers to automated election system. According to Garcia, the tests were certified by the Technical Evaluation Committee headed by the DOST (Department of Science and Technology) as required in RA 9369. ?In 2010 the Comelec, CAC, TEC and Systest presented their report and findings to the political parties and the electoral reform organizations in a public hearing and press conference. ?The source codes were made ?available and open? to the representatives of the same stakeholders for their ?own review? in the designated Comelec (secured) computer room. However no representatives were sent by the parties,? Garcia said. The source code, Garcia noted, was later deposited in the vault of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in the presence of political parties and media. ?The Supreme Court in its decision on the matter of the source code review did acknowledge this process as to be compliant with RA9369,? he added. Garcia pointed out that the arguments should focus on the issue on whether or not Smartmatic should be held liable for not making the source code “open and available to the political parties and groups” for “their own review” as required under RA9369.]]>

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