MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) strongly denied allegations the results of the 2022 national and local elections (NLE) were rigged.
In a statement, Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia junked in detail the arguments raised by the camp of former Information and Communications Technology undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr.
In particular, Rio raised concerns about the transmission of results from a “private and similar IP address” in areas of Metro Manila, Cavite, and Batangas in last year’s polls.
“Walang requirement sa batas na dapat iba-iba o pare-pareho ang IP address ng lahat ng modem (There’s no requirement in the law stating that all modems should be different or similar IP addresses),” Garcia said as PNA reported.
Garcia explained that there were around 20,300 modems which have the same IP address last year.
These 4G network modems, he said, were purchased for the Comelec-leased vote counting machines (VCMs) as well as to cover the 5,000 damaged modems from VCMs purchased in 2016 and were later refurbished for last year’s polls.
Garcia assured that all these modems underwent necessary tests.
He, however, noted that it would take the Comelec more months if it opted to change all IP addresses of the 20,300 modems.
“Walang epekto at walang pagkakaiba sa accuracy, legitimacy, at functionality ng transmission, ang pareho man o magkakaibang IP address ng mga modems (There’s no effect or difference in accuracy, legitimacy, and functionality of transmission, whether the modems have similar or different IP addresses),” Garcia said.
The poll body chief also refuted allegations of a “man-in-the-middle” in the transmission of NLE results.
Garcia said if this was the case, there should have been inconsistencies in the result.
“Walang intermediary o man-in-the-middle sa pag-transmit ng mga resulta ng halalan noong 2022 NLE dahil tugma ang mga resulta mula sa mga polling precincts at resulta na naita-transmit sa Comelec servers (There’s no intermediary or man-in-the-middle in the transmission of NLE 2022 results because the results from the polling precincts are accurate with the results transmitted to Comelec servers),” he said.
Both the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPRCV) and the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) showed 99.97 percent accuracy between the printed election returns and the electronically-transmitted ones.
Garcia also noted that the strongest basis would be the ballots that are under the custody of the city and municipal treasury, alongside its secured scanned images kept by the Comelec.
He said the result of a random manual audit from the said ballots in 748 clustered precincts showed 99.949 percent accuracy.
Besides these arguments, Comelec also explained how it was feasible for them to receive 20 million votes in its single server considering the capacity of modern transmission.
The Comelec earlier provided Rio’s camp with both digital and printed copies of the 2022 NLE transmission logs.
It was also made available for public access after it was uploaded to Comelec’s official website at www.comelec.gov.ph.
One Chanda Narciso Ramos Shahani in Facebook post stated: “Smartmatic Philippines and Comelec urgently have to answer the allegations of former DICT OIC Eliseo Jr Rio; otherwise trust in our system of democratic governance in the Philippines will continue to be eroded like a malignant cancer eating away at our body politic. Perhaps its time to do away with both of them if they cannot answer or refute Secretary Rio’s Allegations. Just saying.”
Rio’s public statement on the elections as he posted follows: