As the Overseas Filipino Workers all around the world cast their votes for the 2019 Senatorial Elections. Particularly in the  Middle East and African Region which concurrently have the highest number of overseas voters totaling 887,744. Any politician who amassed this large number of votes could most likely win this 2019 Senatorial election. However, though these areas are voter-rich then it can be more easily be targeted by election sabotage and technical manipulations. Perhaps, even most notably done by the present administration to favor their own candidates.

Poll watchers noticed a broken seal of a box that contains one of the vote counting machines.

According to poll-watchers in voting centers in the middle-east. One of the boxes which contains one of the voting counting machines seems to have illegally opened and tampered since it’s seal has appeared to have been broken. So it is technically possible that the machine has been reconfigured en-route to the voting center in the Middle East. But the consulate general quickly defended and downplayed the incident citing the need for testing hence the VCM had to be unboxed temporarily or it could be possible that the seal has been ripped off whilst the en-route to the voting center.

Image result for pcos machine

“The machine itself and all the parts and components were intact, walang tampering,” said Consul General Edgar Badajos.

“And in fact, ang ginawa kahapon, the same machine na kung saan may na-open na seal, as per the requirements of COMELEC, tinesting iyan kung walang problema, and then after the testing ni-reset to zero, pero ini-seal uli. Walang problema iyon

’Yung pagkapunit siguro ay maaring sa Manila siguro iyon bago ittinansport, and then they forgot to reseal it, ganon lang iyon. We were not at all bothered.”

However, we certainly have a reason to be bothered. Simply because this is no longer canon to COMELEC’s own Resolution No. 10057 which states that after a FTS (Final Testing and Sealing) of the VCM’s there was no mention of ripping the box out and doing some random testing again? The instructions were explicitly clear on the document and any issues detected on the machine should be flagged already during the FTS and there shouldn’t be any need to rip the VCM box open?

The EO even explicitly mentioned that COMELEC must notify the candidates, registered political parties, coalition of political parties, associations or organizations participating in the party-list system representation in the city or municipality upon FTS prior to even ”sealing” the box in preparation for the actual election day.

Why do we put seals when we can just wantonly rip them with no explanation?

I’m not buying COMELEC’s explanation over the issue with the seals since the purpose of putting a ‘seal’ on the box in the first place was to prevent it from being tampered and modified perhaps even to include certain chips or software alterations that will be detrimental to the results of the election. Also, the COMELEC Resolution explicitly mentioned the need to remove the seal prior to starting the FTS. So the seal has to be there for a reason right?

PART II
FINAL TESTING AND SEALING OF THE VCM

SEC. 33. Procedures for the final testing and sealing (FTS) of the VCM. – During the FTS, the BEI shall observe the following procedures:

  1. Explain to those present the purpose of and the procedures for the FTS;

  2. Randomly choose ten voters from among those present, who will accomplish the ballots to be used for FTS (FTS ballots). If there are less than ten voters present, any of them may accomplish more than one test ballot to complete ten FTS ballots;

  3. Show to the public that the VCM box is sealed;

  4. Remove the blue sealing sticker of the VCM box;

  5. Open the VCM box;

Also, one of the justifications made was that it may have just been ripped off on the way to the precinct. Really? How could the seal be ripped off so easily? When ”seals” should supposedly be strong and durable to withstand common elements such as heat, cold or even people touching the box or anything. The seal should stick nicely and prevent anyone from actually removing it off and sticking it up again after tampering.

China were experts in hardware and software tampering — especially if it meant that Duterte allies will win the elections possibly even favoring PRO-CHINA policies and decisions

I hope that this coming 2019 election wouldn’t have issues just like this where the VCM devices were tampered and may possibly have been configured to favor Duterte’s allies. But one thing is certain. We’ve got give in our votes. We need to have the overwhelming numbers so it would be more difficult for Duterte to tamper and hack the elections in favor of his allies. I’m pretty sure that there lots of Filipinos who cared so much for their country.

Don’t let Team China win. Vote for Team Pilipinas 🙂

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