Catholic prelate says Comelec violates law for not allowing review of PICOS source code

April 23, 2013 11:48 pm 

MANILA, April 23 — A Catholic prelate said that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should be made liable for not complying with the Poll Automation Law if they will not allow analysis on source code.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo is reacting on the statement of Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes that it is too late to conduct source code review since the May 13 election is near.

“The law says that there should be a source code review… if they do not comply with the law are they not liable?” he said.

Section 12 of the Poll Automation Law provides that the Comelec should make the source code “available and open to any interested political party or groups, which may conduct their own review”.

The source code is defined as the human readable instructions that define what the computer equipment will do.

The chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) said that failure to conduct source code review might cast doubt on the credibility of the polls.

On the other hand, poll watchdog Kontra Daya noted that without the review on the source code will further question the integrity of the 2013 elections even before it started.

“The whole outcome will be under a cloud of doubt. The source code review was instituted precisely to assure the political parties and the electorate that the software to be used in counting our votes is trustworthy. It wasn’t put there out of whim like what Brillantes makes it appear with his irresponsible statements,” said Fr. Joe Dizon, Kontra Daya spokesman.

He said the issue on the source code review could have been avoided if only the Comelec did not allow private and foreign corporations to run the Philippine elections.

“That’s the problem with privatized, foreign-controlled elections. We could not even access and review their technology because of private ownership when what is at stake is a very important public interest and the very exercise of our sovereignty as a people,” he added.

Brillantes earlier, said that they are no longer interested in getting the source code because it’s already too late and that election day is so close and even if the source code is given now, it can no longer be reviewed for lack of time. (PNA)



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