Marcos wants own IT team to audit Comelec servers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. posed a question on Wednesday (May 18) to the Commission of Elections (Comelec): If a single person can introduce "cosmetic" changes as described by the Comelec, how can they also prove that the same person did not introduce "substantial" alterations to the script?

Atty. Jose Amorado, head of Marcos' legal team, said the problem was that the Comelec and automation service provider Smartmatic had yet to prove if the so-called "cosmetic" change only involved the changing of the question mark to ñ.

Related: Comelec, PPCRV, Smartmatic, face electoral sabotage charges

Related: Marcos supporters to Comelec: Explain so-called 'cosmetic change'

With this, Marcos asked the Comelec to allow his team of information technology (IT) experts and programmers to conduct an audit of the transparency server and the central server under the supervision of the poll body. The lawmaker requested for the audit to be done within three days from receipt of the letter.

Also read: Marcos camp sees supposed irregularities on COCs

ABAKADA Party-list Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz, spokesperson of Marcos, said their IT experts discovered a significant change when a new script was allegedly introduced to the Comelec transparency server at 7:30 p.m. on election day (May 9). He added the IT experts also detected "abnormal behavior" in the election returns that were transmitted at 10 p.m. on that day.

The Marcos camp was also looking into the number of "undervotes," which amounted to a whooping 2.5 million.  

"Mas maraming bumoto sa presidente kaysa sa bise presidente. Sa tingin ng aming expert, hindi nangyayari 'yun kung merong pagbabago 'yan, hindi ganun kalaki," said Dela Cruz.

[Translation: More people opted to vote for those seeking the presidency than those who want the vice presidential seat. As far as our expert is concerned, that will not happen if there was a change, it must not be that huge of a number.]

Also read: EXCLUSIVE on CNN Philippines: Marcos says he has won the VP race

However, Dela Cruz stressed they were not saying there was cheating involved, as he invited all parties, even vice presidential bet Leni Robredo's camp, to join the audit.

"Ang sinasabi namin dito, hanapin natin ang katotoohanan. Hindi lang namin hinahamon ang Comelec, Smartmatic, kundi ang buong publiko," said Dela Cruz. "Ayaw natin mangyari na mabahiran ang ating eleksyon." 

[Translation: What we are saying is that this is a search for truth. We are not putting the Comelec, Smartmatic on the line, but the public. We do not want our election to be tainted.]

Related: Robredo welcomes system audit proposed by Marcos

Dela Cruz junked claims that this was a "desperate move" of the Marcos camp, saying that they were ready to accept the results once the audit pushed through.