AES Watch conveners ask Ombudsman to probe Brillantes, Smartmatic; Refund payments, Smartmatic asked

AES Watch

The Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch) today asked President Aquino III to compel the Smartmatic company to refund the money given it due to the failure of some 18,000 PCOS machines to transmit election results, dysfunctional CF cards, and other glitches that transpired during the May 13 mid-term elections.

The amount paid by the government for the questionable purchase of the PCOS machines in March 2012 for at least 23% of the machines that failed to transmit should be refunded. This is on top of costs by machines that broke down, faulty CF cards and modems, and other system failures, AES Watch said. Continue reading


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

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

AES Watch: Comelec is not off the hook; Calls for parallel manual count

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) under Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. is not yet off the hook after announcing that the Dominion Voting Systems (DVS) has agreed to disclose the source code to the poll body, the AES Watch said today. The broad citizens’ election watchdog also said the PCOS count is unreliable and called for a 100 percent parallel manual count in the coming elections in light of the absence of a source code and other deficiencies of the poll automation system.

Bobby M. Tuazon, co-convener of AES Watch, said the supposed disclosure of the source code by Dominion only bolsters the election watch group’s contention that both Comelec and Smartmatic are liable for automating the elections of 2013 without a source code. “The last-minute disclosure of the source code even if true will not extricate Comelec and Smartmatic from legal liability,” Tuazon said. “They should have revealed the source code last year when Comelec decided to re-use the unreliable Smartmatic-marketed technology to allow political parties and other interested groups to conduct an independent review of the software program as a matter of right.” Continue reading