Are you spying on us? AES Watch asks Brillantes

The Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch) today dared Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr., of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to clarify that its P30M counter-intelligence fund (CIF) was not intended to spy on IT groups and election watchdogs critical of the Comelec-purchased Smartmatic PCOS technology and the way the automated mid-term elections were conducted.

The citizens’ watchdog issued the demand even as it asked Comelec along with the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on AES to secure all PCOS machines, CCS software, ballot boxes, and other election paraphernalia needed for auditing the now-tainted mid-term election system and subjecting it to forensics scrutiny. Continue reading


Disturbing Discrepancies in Precint Election Results

AES Watch

Precinct results downloaded from the Comelec public access website,, differ from the same precinct results downloaded on another day/time, in significant ways. Take the example of these five precinct results from BAROBO, SURIGAO DEL SUR, downloaded on two different days, the first on May 19, the second on May 23. Directory listings of the two directories give the picture shown. The five precinct results have increased in file size! This should not happen, even for dynamically generated pages, unless there are changes in page contents. I’m studying these cases further, and will give a more detailed report.

This was first posted by Dr. Pablo Manalastas on Facebook.

AES Watch calls for Brillantes resignation

Probe Comelec irregularities and non-compliance of the Poll Automation Law

2013 electionsFollowing repeated threats of Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes to sue and expose leaders of the election watchdog, Automated Elelction System Watch as acting in “conspiracy” to sow public distrust on the election, members and conveners of AES Watch today called for the immediate resignation of former election lawyer, Sixto Brillantes, Jr., from his post as chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Brillantes had earlier accused the watchdog of “election sabotage.”  Last week, the poll chief threatened to sue his critics, but withdrew the same threat the other day.

“Coming from the head of a constitutional and powerful body, his threats send a chilling effect not only on AES Watch members but other election watch groups, political parties, candidates, and other stakeholders,” the group said.

The forty-plus coalition of citizens’ organizations composed of academics, IT experts and professionals, policy study analysts, faith-based groups, grassroots organizations, poll watchdogs, good governance advocates and legal groups speaking through its spokesperson, former Philippine Computer Society president, Nelson Celis said, “Chairman Brillantes should make true his threat to sue instead of harassing us with dangerous labels, so that truth will out.” Continue reading

2013 MID-TERM AUTOMATED ELECTIONS: FROM BAD TO WORSE; Comelec is now anointer of presumed winners

May 18, 2013 press statement

By committing more errors than those recorded in 2010, by making arbitrary and highly-irregular decisions during canvassing, and proclaiming presumed winning candidates prematurely the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has turned the second automated elections from bad to worse – a technology and political disaster. Aside from Comelec’s non-compliance – yet again – of the election law and the technical glitches, there was an unprecedented large-scale vote buying. Political clans are now even more entrenched with a bigger number of their members being fielded in extensive areas and perpetuating themselves in power thereafter.

In 2010, a significant number of clustered precincts in both provinces and cities had delayed transmissions of up to two days; as of May 17 or four days after this year’s election, 18,187 clustered precincts or 23% of the total number failed to transmit election returns affecting if not potentially disenfranchising 8.6M voters. Aside from demolishing the much-hyped “speed” of automation, the transmission delays opened the whole system to data manipulation and election rigging. More than 50% of 1,173 incidents based on verified PARTIAL monitoring results of AES Watch were PCOS-related (911 clustered precincts) – from initialization errors, machine breakdown to hardware problems and ballot rejection. A total of 1,432 monitored clustered precincts (1.84% of total CPs) from all over the country had either PCOS or transmission problems. This is equivalent to 1.432M compromised votes.

Compared to 2010, there are more data discrepancies as well as open and brazen possible manipulation of election data at the stage of canvassing and consolidation. For example: the ultra-fast and inflated PPCRV count caused by program error, the highly-suspicious intervention of Smartmatic technicians in fixing the program and deletion of an ER file, the 44-hour lull at 69% of ERs, and the absence of RMA results five days after election. Continue reading

From BAD to WORSE: 2013 Automated Elections, Big Technological Disaster

Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch)
May 17, 2013

From BAD to WORSE: 2013 Automated Elections, Big Technological Disaster

Programming errors, zero vote data, corrupted CF cards, paper jamming, multiple transmissions, PCOS shutdowns nationwide : “Comelec 99.99999% ready” (Brillantes) or signs of election failure?

· Why STOP the “transparency” count?
· Why the mysterious slowdown of transmission?
· Why the non-transparency and sudden secrecy of election results from the public?
· What happened to the 30% of Election Returns not immediately transmitted after closing of polls?
· What “routine maintenance” did Smartmatic do with the PCOS system inside the “citizens’ arm -PPCRV command center immediately before transmission of election results and after PPCRV announced more than 12 million votes transmitted three hours after polls closed?
· Who are the mysterious Smartmatic operators at the servers?
· Why allow physical transport of un-transmitted CF cards direct to the NBOC not through “ladderized canvassing?”
· What happened to the RMA (random manual audit) in 236 clustered precincts (CPs) that should have been done immediately after the elections?
· Why the Proclamation with more than 20% of CPs or 11 million votes still unaccounted for?
· How will the candidates know the right number of votes they garnered in the polls?

These highly irregular incidents, questions and other issues will be tackled by AES Watch in a PRESS BRIEFING

May 18, 2013, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
AES Watch Monitoring Center
c/o Center for Integrative & Development Studies (CIDS)
Ground Level, Ang Bahay ng Alumni, Magsaysay Avenue
UP Diliman, Quezon City


Pablo R. Manalastas, PhD, Nelson J. Celis, Lito Averia, Ernie del Rosario
Rene B. Azurin, PhD, Maricor Akol, Fr. Joe Dizon Temario C. Rivera, PhD former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Jr. and others


For other details, please contact Soleil Manzano
AES Watch Monitoring Center
Tel. 9818500 local 4274/4273 and 9299526
Email address:
Facebook: AES Watch Twitter: @aeswatch_PH

Is it true that only 258 PCOS machines were ‘defective’?

This was written by Atty. Mel Magdamo, whistleblower on the overpriced ballot secrecy folders for the 2010 elections:

Dear Chairman Brillantes:

According to your advisers, only 258 PCOS machines were “defective” on election day.

According to another report, the breakdowns were “widespread.”

According to the “Eleksyon 2013” Action Center (“GMA Network” + “AMA Education System” Partnership) that was monitoring and receiving calls nationwide, there were “1,063 reports of PCOS machine problems as of late afternoon on election day.”

Please remember, dear Chairman, that we were together in the GMA Network News Room early in the morning of election day. I was personally present when the GMA+AMA action center team members were gathering reports nationwide. In fact, many times, I myself had to answer calls from angry voters demanding explanations for malfunctioning and non-functioning PCOS machines.

PINAGMUMURA AKO ng mga callers and I ended up defending Comelec.

Shall we suspect the GMA+AMA partnership as harboring a motive to exaggerate or sensationalize?

I saw their methods. Their data input monitors were in accordance with the best practices of information & communications technology. Their call center agents were idealistic and hardworking. To all appearances, they were telling the truth and were even conservative in the estimate of “1,063 reports of PCOS machine problems as of late afternoon on election day.”

Dear Chairman, who gave you the advise that only 258 PCOS machines were “defective”?

I challenge your advisers to a public forum debate on the methodology of quantifying defects, for the sake of not repeating the same in the future (Section 9 of the Electoral Reforms Law encourages public forum debates).

Sincerely yours,

Atty. Melchor Magdamo

Smartmatic top honcho sighted at PPCRV data center before wrong tally

What is a Smartmatic top official up to at the operations center of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) at 5 p.m. closing time yesterday before the scheduled transmission of election results from the country’s 78,000 clustered precincts?

Former Comelec IT Director and Automated Elections System Watch (AES Watch) IT expert Ernie del Rosario today expressed grave concerns over the suspicious presence of Albert Castro Rico, a Spanish Smartmatic official, at the command center and election server of the PPCRV, Comelec-accredited citizens’ arm. PPCRV is located at Pope Pius Center, UN Avenue, Manila. Continue reading