Tapang noted issues which, he said, show the various vulnerabilities of the coming elections. These, he said, include the automated election system’s proneness to fraud through either external or internal hacking. Other “outstanding issues” Tapang identified include “the source code review of the software that will be used, the infrastructure for the safe transmission of data as well as the readiness of Comelec personnel and the voting public for automated polls.”
Kahn warned about what he described was the high likelihood of a failure of elections taking place.
Gaite went a step further. “There seems to be a planned failure of elections,” he said. He cited as indicators the one-month delay in, and the slow pace of, the printing of ballots, which he said could lead to a massive disenfranchisement of voters.
Pascual, meanwhile, noted the lack of physical and internal preparations for the conduct of automated elections. He also deplored the lack of a contingency plan to be implemented “if things go wrong”.
Kontra Daya’s concerns are contained in a letter to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo, prepared by the conveners.
In the letter, which Peters read at the press conference and copies of which were distributed to the media, the Kontra Daya conveners criticized what they described as the time-consuming character of the automated election system. They also noted the rejection of ballots and difficulties in the transmission of results in field tests and mock elections conducted all over the country in the past few weeks.
“The biggest fear of people right now, candidates included, is that the automated election system is vulnerable to rigging or that there may be failure of elections if all does not go well,” the conveners said.
“The Comelec must adopt a self-critical outlook so that the problems and vulnerabilities can be addressed,” they added.
After the press conference, the conveners marched to the Comelec office to deliver the letter of concern. At first there was some commotion, as guards tried to refuse them entry. A few of the conveners, however, were let in after a few minutes of negotiations. They were able to present the letter to Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, who said its contents will be taken up during the Comelec’s en banc session this coming Feb. 23.
Kontra Daya aims to field volunteers nationwide, and encourages the participation of the people in their greatest numbers in monitoring the conduct and results of the 2010 elections. It has put up a website, www.kontradaya.com, where initially the results of field tests and mock elections, as well as several articles on other issues regarding the 2010 elections, may be viewed. (Bulatlat.com)