Poll critics: Release of source code too late for review

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Members of civil society said on Tuesday, May 7, that there is no longer use for the release of the source code or human readable instructions of the PCOS machines since there is no more time to review the code prior to the May 13 elections.

In a radio interview, former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Gus Lagman said the source code — set to arrive anytime — can no longer be reviewed because of lack of time.

“Kung ang pagbabasehan natin ay yung ginawa ng Systest Lab nung 2009, nakuha nila ang contract sa Comelec ng September or October. Lumabas ang resulta [ng source code review] ay February na. Mga apat na buwan nila nireview ang source code bago nailabas yung kanilang report… at least 4 months, pwedeng 6 months. Yung iba nga sinasabi pwedeng isang taon. Ganun katagal,” Lagman said.

Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr said the source code review by political parties and other interested groups may be done after the May 13 polls.

Bobby Tuazon of Automated Elections Watch (AESWatch) said the late release of the source code is a violation of the election law.

“The fact that the source code is being released just now ? one week before the mid-term elections ? constitutes a violation of the election law? The review that will be conducted after elections makes it moot and academic,” Tuazon said.

The legal battle between Dominion and Smartmatic in the US prevented the release of the source code for review.

On Monday, May 6, Brillantes announced the release of the source code and the agreement between Dominion and Smartmatic that it will be opened for review.

Systest Labs earlier independently certified the source code.

Now that the source code is due to arrive in the country, Brillantes reiterated his call for critics to stop spreading fear on the failure of the automated elections.

Instead, he said the critics should help them in ensuring the success of the polls. — Janice Cave, PNA

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