PASAY CITY, Philippines – Questions remain unanswered on the alleged irregularities in the 2016 national elections during the Senate inquiry on Tuesday (July 31).
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms said they were “frustrated” with the explanations of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the matter, especially the alleged transmission a day before the elections, supposedly “a quiet time.”
It was a concern earlier raised by Senate President Vicente Sotto III who claimed that a reliable source handed him confidential information regarding the activities that altered election results.
Based on the resolutions released by the Comelec, the final testing and sealing were conducted from May 2 to 6, but can be extended to May 9 if necessary. The transmission test was done on May 9, the day of elections.
But Sotto claimed that as early as May 8, there was already a transmission of data happening in Bicol areas.
Citing his source, it was done by an IP address which was of a clustered vote counting machine or precinct count optical scan (PCOS).
During the inquiry, Sotto asked the Comelec for the transmission logs from May 8 to May 9 but the poll body presented logs only on the day of the elections on May 9 and none on the day before.
Citing his source, whose legal counsel was Atty. Levito Baligod, Sotto believed such activity before the election day is highly irregular. Baligod affirmed the Senator’s claim.
“There was a queue server used which was unauthorized and which was malicious,” Baligod, the counsel of a witness to the early transmission, said.
Former Biliran representative Glenn Chong, one of the resource speakers in the hearing alleging election fraud, claimed otherwise.
“Wala pong May 8. There was no transaction what so ever in May 8,” he said.
During the hearing, Chong’s credibility was questioned as he was being linked to the 2016 Vice Presidential Candidate Bongbong Marcos.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon cited two letters from Marcos’ legal counsel Atty. George Garcia where Chong was named as one of the Marcos’ camp’s representatives. Chong denied the claim.
Because of this, the senators grew more puzzled over the content and origin of the early data transmissions.
The Senate committee asked the poll body to submit written explanations on the said issue subject to further study on the alleged 2016 poll fraud.
Source: – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo, UNTV News and Rescue