Print this page

More bombshells set; Comelec mouthpiece hit

More bombshells on the fraud-tainted conduct of the 2016 automated polls are set to be unleashed on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said.

He added the new revelations will further bolster his claims on alleged poll fraud that marred the 2016 national elections.
“I will present more logs on Monday. (But) I suggest, they wait for the (Senate) hearing. It’s the best venue to plead their case,” Sotto said even as he issued a stern warning against Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez on disputing his allegations.
Sotto, it was gathered, is set to deliver another privilege speech on Monday to dispute Jimenez’s assertions that his “allegations and interpretations of the allegations in his speech are not indications” of the alleged poll fraud and that charges of supposed foreign access to the local election server was unsubstantiated.
Jimenez added that final testing and sealing of some poll precincts take place even on the day of elections but these will not yield enough votes to be mistaken as an actual precinct outcome.
“Test data can’t be mistaken for actual data. If you just say there was data received, you’re lacking a significant part of the context,” he even said.
Sotto would not take sitting down Jimenez’ belittling of the significance of his revelations as he challenged the Comelec spokesman to back up his claims on the alleged “regularity” of transmission of votes even before voters could begin casting their ballots in the May 2016 elections.
“Show me a circular or memo that shows the authorized transmission of votes to the server from May 8 to the wee hours of May 9, 2016,” Sotto said addressed to Jimenez. In a privilege speech delivered Tuesday, Sotto revealed that alleged fraudulent electronic votes were transmitted to the transparency servers and board of canvassers long before the scheduled May 9 national elections formally opened.

But Jimenez, in a press conference the following day, claimed final testing and sealing of some polling precincts take place even during the actual day of elections.
Proof of ineptitude
“The spokesman of the Comelec is making their institution look incapable,” Sotto commented.
“In the absence of such circular, did he just admit that there was indeed irregularity in the 2016 presidential elections?” the senator asked.
With or without an admission from Jimenez, the senator said he will back up his allegations.
“I will present more logs on Monday. I suggest they wait for the hearing. It’s the best venue to plead their case,” he said in a statement.
Sotto also mocked Jimenez for issuing pronouncements which makes him more of a spokesman of technology provider Smartmatic.
“Is Comelec now a spokesman for Smartmatic? Logs are digital footprints that can’t be easily altered. They should present the logs for the areas to deny my claim,” he said.
“I will provide him details (on Monday). He always resorts to alibis. Fine. But I will address their so-called explanations point by point when I deliver my privilege speech on Monday,” Sotto added.
As this developed, Sen. Nancy Binay practically corroborated Sotto’s claims saying that she has been in receipt of similar information last year from a group of IT experts from the Comelec, cautioning her of another alleged possible manipulation of poll results in the coming mid-term elections.
Binay disclosed to reporters that a group of IT experts from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) sought her out sometime last year and presented her documents on alleged manipulation of votes in the last elections.
Based on her recollection, Binay said the group also showed her alleged transmission of votes where there was supposedly a surge of votes on certain candidates.
In dealing with the issue, Binay said she filed a resolution to convene the joint oversight committee on automated elections to look into the matter and which was taken up recently by Sen. Francis Escudero as co-chair of the bicameral panel.
Asked why the group offered her the information, Binay said she could only surmise the possibility that as a re-electionist, the group may have been concerned about her.
She noted the issue that marred the credibility of the voting count machines in 2013 elections there were lines that came out in the printed election returns.
Binay said she remains unsure whether the information given to her is similar to the revelations of Sotto.
Malacañang, nonetheless, welcomed the Comelec’s decision to investigate the alleged poll fraud in the 2016 national elections.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the Comelec announced that it would look into the “confidential information” handed to Senator Vicente Sotto III from a “concerned and impeccably reliable source.”
Sotto first bared these alleged irregularities in a privilege speech and called for a Senate investigation.
“We are pleased that Comelec has accepted the challenge to investigate these new information published by Senator Sotto in the Senate,” Roque said.
Roque said President Duterte will not allow another election fraud as long as he is in office.
“The President said that while he is President, he will not allow another election fraud,” he said.
Roque pointed out that it was necessary to find out the truth because Comelec will still be tapping automated election provider Smartmatic for the next elections.
“This is important because Comelec has also tapped Smartmatic to provide automated election services for the next elections,” Roque said.
Roque, meanwhile, denied reports that even the President himself benefited from the alleged poll fraud saying his avid supporters even think he got much more than 16 million votes.
“If you have to ask some of the die-hard supporters of the President in the last election, they feel that they got more votes. So it is not as if they benefited, they lost votes according to his supporters. But the President is happy with his almost six million edge over his closest political rival,” Roque said, referring to former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

Latest from Angie M. Rosales

Unit 102, 1020 Bel-Air apartment, Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila Copyright 2000-2017 All rights reserved, The Daily Tribune Publishing Inc.