Comelec’s Guanzon wants Smartmatic staff, officers to stay in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The alleged breach of protocol committed by Smartmatic is intolerable for many.

Especially for Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who asked the en banc on Monday (May 16) to issue an order that would prohibit the automated poll service provider’s employees and officers from leaving the country pending an investigation.

In a memorandum to fellow commissioners, Guanzon urged the poll body to act on the issue with “haste and dispatch.”

For information technology (IT) lawyer and former Comelec Advisory Council member Rogelio Quevedo, the investigation on the alteration of the script into the Comelec transparency server is not enough.

“It is proper for Comelec now to call for… a forensic investigation of the transmission and election returns,” he said.

Quevedo said a forensic investigation is the only way to tell if the script, which changed the transparency server hash code, is really as innocent as the Comelec and Smartmatic say it is.

Comelec chairman Andres Bautista said the change was cosmetic and will not affect the election results – changing the “?”with the “ñ” character in the names of some candidates.

According to Quevedo, the change was highly irregular.

“I highly suspect na yung [that the] replacement of 'ñ' triggered something that could have changed something,” said Quevedo.

Quevedo added, although this change may not affect the results of the official canvass, it has cast doubt on the election process.

“No matter what the cost, it will be more costly to our economy if there is no credibility in our election,” he said.

Quevedo said he is willing to elevate the matter to the Supreme Court if the Comelec refuses to conduct the forensic investigation.

They are also studying possible charges against Marlon Garcia, who admitted he was responsible for the alteration of the script in Comelec transparency server and for interfering with the election process.

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

Academics question unofficial quick count

This is not the first time that people have questioned the results of the PPCRV unofficial quick count.

De La Salle University professor Antonio Contreras' Facebook post barely 24 hours after the transmissions began, says he and statistician David Yap found a definite trend in the progression of results in the vice presidential race.

“Meron siyang consistent increase parang 40,000 for every one percent,” Contreras said. [She has a consistent increase, about 40,000 for every one percent.]

Also read: Robredo: My win is irreversible

Contreras also questioned the explanation that votes from Marcos' bailiwicks were transmitted first and Robredo's bailiwicks transmitted much later as they were in farther locations.

“Nangyari po ang shift sa 80 percent transmission,” Contreras said. “Kung balwarte lang ang pag-usapan, dapat naubos na yun sa bago pa umabot sa 80 percent,” he said.

[The shift happened at 80 percent transmission… if we are talking about bailiwicks, it should have been accounted for before it reached 80 percent.]

CNN Philippines’ JC Gotinga and Menchu Macapagal contributed to this report.