Comelec to erase PDF files of ballots this week

April 20, 2010 7:47 pm 

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, April 20 – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it will delete all the PDF files of the ballots as soon as the printing ends later this week or as soon as they have completed the printing of the more than 50 million ballots.

Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, who heads the Comelec Steering Committee on Automation, said that aside from deleting the files, it will also decommission all the five ballot printers at the National Printing Office (NPO).

On the other hand, Comelec Chairman Jose Melo said the decision to delete the files and decommissioning of the printers aimed to avoid Comelec of being accused of anything.

“Baka naman sabihin nila na [Maybe they will say] we are printing extra ballots… (with this) you cannot generate anymore substitute ballots,” he said.

On Monday, the poll body said that they were set to complete the printing of official ballots on Saturday, April 24, a day earlier than the original deadline it set.

Melo also said that it had finished securing the canvassing center system (CCS) by entering their “three-segment passwords.”

He said that the password was meant to secure the contents of the laptops that would be used for the canvassing.

Melo and co-chairmen of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Poll Automation Sen. Francis Escudero and Rep. Teodoro Locsin, are the ones authorized to have the passwords.

On the other hand, Larrazabal said that the passwords would mean that nobody except from the three officials can activate the system.

“It is a means to ensure that there's no modification (in the results)… (and that) the system is locked,” he said. (PNA) RMA/FGP/utb


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