House hearing on alleged poll fraud today
Posted by akosistella on May 19, 2010
MANILA, Philippines—The House of Representatives is set to begin an inquiry today on allegations that the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the May 10 elections were tampered with to favor some candidates.
Speaker Prospero Nograles, Makati Representative Teodoro Locsin Jr., chairman of the committee on electoral reforms and suffrage, and several congressmen will meet with officials of the Commission on Elections and its automation partner, Smartmatic Inc., at 1 p.m. to seek their explanation on mounting allegations of fraud in the last election.
“Smartmatic people have guaranteed the public that they (PCOS) are hack-free. . . . Suppose there are now evidence gathered that they were in fact not tamper-proof, what is the remedy?” Nograles said.
Nograles earlier proposed to put on hold the full payment to Smartmatic until all allegations about the credibility of the PCOS machines have been dispelled.
“I will not agree to giving Smartmatic full payment because the guarantees were not fulfilled based on the initial report that we have,” he said.
Citing an HBO documentary film, Hacking Democracy, the House leader said it was possible to manipulate the PCOS machines. The documentary was filmed over three years documenting the investigation of irregularities with e-voting systems that occurred during the US 2002 and 2004 elections, especially in Florida.
On Tuesday, reports came out about a masked man claiming that electronic vote-shaving took place in the last presidential election. (Inquirer.net)
Pinoy resilience made May polls possible despite gov’t failures — int’l observers
It was only because of the resilience of the Filipino people – teachers who acted as Board of Election Inspectors and voters – that the automated poll was made possible, an international observers mission that monitored the May 10 polls concluded.
The mission noted, on the other hand, that the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and its poll body failed to address election-related problems such as widespread intimidation, vote buying, corruption and violence, among others.
In a report submitted Tuesday to Senator Francis Escudero, co-chairman of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Elections System (JCOC-AES), the People’s International Observers Mission (PIOM) said that the recent elections were not peaceful or violence-free, fair or honest.