Commission on Elections (Comelec) executive director Jose Tolentino Jr. on Friday, February 8, assured the public that the source code for this year’s mid-term elections is out of the grasp of cheaters.
In a briefing at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Tolentino explained that one has to break through several layers of security to get to the vault deep within the BSP’s office in Manila, where the code was delivered for safekeeping on Friday.
“It will be difficult. You have to go through three layers of security. And we saw a lot of CCTV cameras,” he said.
The source code covers the election management system, vote counting machine, and canvassing and consolidation system.
Under Republic Act (RA) No. 9369, otherwise known as the Automated Elections System Law, the source code will be put in escrow with the BSP for safekeeping.
Tolentino said the code can be retrieved from the BSP vault only if a court ordered the Comelec to do so in relation to a case that has been filed.
He explained that “any request to retrieve the source code would go through the Commission En Banc for deliberation whether it is necessary to retrieve the source code (or not).”
“Under our escrow agreement, Comelec has to request the central bank to give us authority to open the vault,” he said.
The Comelec official stressed that “based on our experience in 2010, 2013, and 2016 nobody requested for the retrieval of the source code.”
“And if ever Comelec would do that, I’m sure the Comelec will explain to the public (and the BSP) why it is necessary to retrieve the source code,” he added. — Joann Villanueva (PNA)