RELEASE DOCUMENTS, BEFORE RETIRING
Release vital election documents unconditionally, including the source codes used in the automated elections of May 2010 as directed by the Supreme Court last September 21, before any Commissioner of the COMELEC is allowed to retire or resign and before Smartmatic leaves by end of the year!
This is the urgent call of AES Watch, a broad independent coalition of non-government, private and civil society organizations working for transparent and peaceful elections that includes industry and academic IT experts and professional groups as it presents its assessment of the automated elections before the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms chaired by Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, Jr, on Monday, December 6, 1:30 p.m. at Room 7, Mitra Hall, House of Representatives in Quezon City.
AES Watch led by convener Alfredo Pascual, newly elected President of the University of the Philippines (UP), has again called on the Commission on Elections to exercise transparency and be inclusive in dealing with independent citizens’ groups monitoring and conducting their own assessment of the country’s first automated elections. Pascual said transparency is best practiced by allowing the citizenry free and unconditional access to public information on transactions of national interest like the elections.
Presenting their assessments to the committee are other AES Watch conveners Angel Averia, Jr, IT consultant of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) and Rachel Roxas, PhD, Dean of De La Salle University’s
The CenPEG Report released at the AES Watch post election summit last October 5 revealed findings that the computer program used for the Smartmatic-provided automated elections was “full of bugs and errors” ranging from critical, major to minor but was nevertheless certified by the US-based SysTests Lab because these did not manifest during the testing done in the US.
According to Evita Jimenez, CenPEG executive director, “If news reports are true that the Comelec plans to conduct its own post-election evaluation with its senior field officials on December 14-15 at Subic, Zambales, it should include the observation and monitoring assessments of independent groups nationwide, as well as allow scientific studies on the computer programs and hardware of the Smartmatic-propelled election technology.” This way, “Comelec will know what really went wrong and went right… and improve on their weaknesses,” Jimenez added, in reference to Commissioner Gregorio Larazabal’s remarks in a press interview yesterday.
The full CenPEG Report and, the AES Watch Assessment which integrates the reports of other conveners will be submitted to the 15th Congress through the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee chaired by Senator Miriam Santiago and the House Committee on Suffrage on December 17 during the Affair to Celebrate…gathering of AES Watch conveners. #
AES Watch secretariat:
Mary Joy Lopez