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Sep 29th
Home Sections Politics Annex One to the Report About the May 10, 2010, Elections
Annex One to the Report About the May 10, 2010, Elections PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Written by Global Filipino Nation Press Office   
Saturday, 29 May 2010 18:15




This Interim Assessment of the 2010 national elections can be divided into two areas:


1.             Performance of Comelec and its deputized agencies vis-a-vis their roles, and in comparison with their performances in the 2004 national and 2007 local elections.


2.             Performance of Comelec's Automated Voting, Consolidating and Canvassing System (referred to as the Automated Election System or AES) procured from Smartmatic-TIM compared to the actual live System implementation, provisions of RA9369 governing such automation, System contract between Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM, System Project Management, and the System deliverables.






2004 /2007


1.  Comelec




1.1  Registration of Voters


        Purging of Lists

Regular procedures with automated registration using biometrics.


Comelec claims purging of some 70,000 of voters in current voter list

Regular procedures with automated registration using biometrics.


Comelec claims purging of a similar number of voters in that year's voter list

No significant improvement vs. 2004/2007

1.2  Voter Verification / Checking of Names in Comelec Lists and Precinct Assignments 

Voters Lists were posted on the walls outside the clustered precincts (several established precincts into one clustered precinct for a maximum of 1000 registered voters) only on voting day.


Precinct assignments were mailed to individual voters by barangay (but mostly received during voting day only)


Comelec website provides finder capability for precinct assignment per voter.

Voters lists were posted on the walls outside of each established precinct (up to 300 voters per precinct) prior to the voting day.




No mailing of precinct assignments.

Voters have great difficulty in locating and identifying their clustered precincts.


Long queues developed with voters waiting several hours before voting.


The estimated number of disenfranchised voters in the election may range from 2 million to 8 million, according to Comelec's consultant on queue management.


This number may have affected the results in the presidential, vice presidential and senatorial results.

1.3  Voting and Canvassing (please see Table II)




1.4  Release of Results (time)

80% of precinct votes reported by 13 May

Several winning local officials proclaimed starting 13 May

90% reported by 17 May

9 senators proclaimed 17 May.

Voting results completed after more than a month

Faster results at precinct and municipal/city level than 2004/2007

1.5  Accuracy of Results

Most of declared winners follow the general trend of pre and post election surveys.

Contract specified 99.99% accuracy.

Two days after elections, several incidents of potential fraud and irregularities were reported, documented and protests filed (starting 17 May)

2004 national results questioned with investigations ending up with "Hello Garci" investigations in 2005 to 2006.  (No resolution yet.)


2007 (12th position) senatorial results questioned and pending resolution.

In suspense following announcement of Random Manual Audits and resolution of filed cases.


With the assessments in Table 2, and awaiting a full blown audit, this criterion awaits resolution.





2.  Department of Education




2.1  Performance as Board of Election Inspectors

Performed their assigned jobs despite procedural difficulties and long voter queues to serve

Performed their assigned jobs despite incidents of violence and related electoral pressures

BEIs have shown their best under pressure





3.  Philippine National Police




3.1  Maintenance of Peace and Order

Very few incidents of reported electoral violence.


Has a high level of reported of electoral related incidents, especially in Mindanao in the 2007 elections

More peaceful and orderly than 2004/2007





4.  Armed Forces of the Philippines




4.1  Maintenance of Peace and Order

No reported incidents



4.2  Involvement in the elections

No reported involvement in election fraud.

Claimed involvement in 2004 elections,

Better performance in 2010









1.  Republic Act 9369




1.1  Sec 3 and 5.  IT-capable person

Trained and certified by DOST; at least one member of the BEI, and to assist the BOC

In the observed Pampanga voting centers, only one IT person (no certification shown) covered one voting center consisting of several clustered precincts


1.2 Sec 6.  Use of AES

"for the regular national and local election, which shall be held immediately after effectivity of this Act, the AES shall be used in at least two highly urbanized cities and two provinces each in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao ..."


"In succeeding regular national or local elections, the AES shall be implemented nationwide." 

There was no use of the AES contracted in July 2009 in two urbanized cities and two provinces each in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.  The AES was IMPLEMENTED LIVE NATIONWIDE in the 2010 elections.

This is dangerous as Comelec's non compliance means an untested and unaudited system will be implemented LIVE.  May lead to unforeseen difficulties and erroneous results.

1.3 Sec 7. Minimum System Capabilities 

(a) Adequate security  against unauthorized access









(b) Accuracy in recording and reading of votes as well as in the tabulation, consolidation/canvassing, electronic transmission, and storage of results;



























(c) Error recovery  in case of non-catastrophic failure of device;


(d) System integrity which ensures physical stability and functioning of the vote recording and counting process ;


(e) Provision for voter verified paper audit trail;














(f) System auditability  which provides supporting documentation for verifying the correctness of reported election results;











(g) An election management system  for preparing ballots and programs for use in the casting and counting of votes and to consolidate, report and display election result in the shortest time possible;


(h) Accessibility to illiterates and disabled voters;


(i) Vote tabulating program  for election, referendum or plebiscite;


(j) Accurate ballot counters;


(k) Data retention  provision;






(l) Provide for the safekeeping, storing and archiving of physical or paper resource  used in the election process;


(m) Utilize or generate official ballots as herein defined;


(n) Provide the voter a system of verification to find out whether or not the machine has registered his choice;  and


(o) Configure access control for sensitive system data and function.


"In the procurement of this system, the Commission shall develop and adopt an evaluation system to ascertain that the above minimum system capabilities are met. This evaluation system shall be developed with the assistance of an advisory council."


Passwords for the BEI were provided.  No observed passwords for the IT personnel.


Digital signatures were required but within two months before the elections, these were not used.


Use of encryption in transmission announced but an incompletely secure transmission scheme is made available, but not utilized in the elections.


UV reading by PCOS earlier provided but later was disabled when ink density of the ballot was found inadequate.  An external, handheld UV lamp was procured to check on the authenticity of a ballot.


Tests using 10 sample ballots were made after the May 3 erroneous Compact Flash cards (CFC) field tests.  Not all tests in 76,340 precincts where supposedly all CFC were reconfigured and replaced, were completed and announced.


Transmission tests were not conducted as stated by Provincial Election Supervisor, Regional Election Officer and his Deputy.


Back up PCOS machines are used within a province.



Only a UPS is provided to ensure the PCOS will not lose power.




Voter only notified in the PCOS screen that his vote is read. 


The announced capability for the voter to verify that his vote choices were recorded by the PCOS was disabled.  Only the word "CONGRATULATIONS" was shown in the PCOS LCD.




Only a printed Election Return tape was prepared after the counting. 



A Random Manual Audit was conducted for 5 precincts for each congressional district or a total of 1,145 of the 76,340 precincts nationwide.






An Election Management System module was provided.


No prior tests were made instead implemented LIVE immediately.


No specific tests were made.



Election Return tapes were printed out (see item f above)


Tested under item b above.


A memory card and CFC card designed to maintain the copy of the vote data and precinct, candidates’ data per PCOS.


Comelec provided facilities for storing their copies of the paper tapes, and the used ballots, unused ballots and other paper paraphernalia.


Printed official ballots at the National Printing Office.



Same as item e above.






See item a above.




An evaluation system was provided but not announced nor released.






This is leading to a Legal standoff as to the authenticity, reliability and accuracy of the vote results.









The UV lamps were not provided nor used in the Pampanga precincts.







There were reports that stated some ERs contain votes of 10 voters, meaning that the votes transmitted were the test votes.





































30 copies of the ER were printed for each precinct and distributed to authorized parties.


The results of 30 RMA precincts were released and announced as of 15 May 2010.

Last 20 May, Comelec announced results of about 300 RMA precincts were completed with few discrepancies.



















Comelec was reported to have started destroying the CFC cards 15 May.










































1.4 Sec 8.  Communication Channels for Electronic Transmissions

all electronic transmissions by and among the EAS and its related components shall utilize secure communication channels ...  to ensure authentication and integrity of transmission."

4,690 polling centers have no cell phone signal from telecommunication firms affecting about 5 million registered voters.

5,600 Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) equipment and 680 Very Small Aperture Terminals have been assigned to these areas.  

See item 1.3 b above.


No specific authentication and integrity check were released and announced regarding the public telecom facilities and facilities utilized.


Only 40,000 modems were contracted to allow transmissions.








No announced results of testing these facilities.  Slowdown in transmission was noticed three days after elections.










As observed in Pampanga, there was only one modem used by several precincts in a voting center, thus delaying transmission.

Transmission in observed precincts in Pampanga took about 30 minutes per ER.

1.5  Sec 9.  Technical Evaluation Committee

The Committee shall certify, through an established international certification entity  to be chosen by the Commission from the recommendations of the Advisory Council, not later than three months before the date of the electoral exercises, categorically stating that the AES, including its hardware and software components, is operating properly, securely, and accurately, in accordance with the provisions of this Act based, among others, on the following documented results:






1. The successful conduct of a field testing process followed by a mock election event in one or more cities/municipalities;
















2. The successful completion of audit on the accuracy, functionally and security controls of the AES software;


3. The successful completion of a source code review;


4. A certification that the source code is kept in escrow with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas;


5. A certification that the source code reviewed is one and the same as that used by the equipment; and


6. The development, provisioning, and operationalization of a continuity  plan to cover risks to the AES at all points in the process such that a failure of elections, whether at voting, counting or consolidation, may be avoided.


"If the Commission decides to proceed with the use of the AES without the Committee's certification, it must submit its reason in writing, to the Oversight Committee , no less than thirty (30) days prior to the electoral exercise where the AES will be used.

Comelec commissioned SysTest Lab of the USA to review the source code.


Comelec also opened up to political and other interested parties the review of the source codes.


The source code copy was put in escrow at the Central Bank.













Bid Specifications "Annex E" stated that "There shall be as many field tests as may be necessary until the requirements for the tests have been satisfied provided that the tests shall not go beyond December 5, 2009. All systems shall be tested on site, i.e. in selected locations nationwide covering different test voting centers, test consolidation sites, and test canvassing sites. The test shall also include live transmission of precinct results. COMELEC personnel shall operate all systems in the test.


No certification issued.





See above comment re SysTest.


Announcement made.





No certification announced.





No announcement.










No announcement.











SysTest Lab submitted a report with some 4,000 comments for action by Comelec.  No official announcement by Comelec whether these SysTest comments were addressed.


The lack of transparency by the Comelec led the Supreme Court to order Comelec to produce the relevant documentation on these items.


This action of Comelec led to suspicions and worries by citizen watchdogs that insufficient testing and checking are happening, that may lead to irregularities and possibly manipulation of the vote results.


Tests were conducted only at precinct level.

1.6  Sec 10.  Procurement of Equipment and Materials

With  respect to the May 10, 2010 election and succeeding electoral exercises, the system procured must have demonstrated capability and been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise here or board. Participation in the 2007 pilot exercise shall not be conclusive of the system's fitness.

The PCOS machine was not used in the ARMM and 2007 elections.  In ARMM, two voting machines, the DRE and CCOS were used by two different contractors.


1.7  Sec 11.  Continuity Plan

Activation of such continuity and contingency measures shall be undertaken in the presence of representatives of political parties and citizen's arm of the Commission who shall be notified by the election officer of such activation.

"All political parties and party-lists shall be furnished copies of said continuity plan at their official addresses as submitted to the Commission. 


The list shall be published in at least two newspaper of national of circulation and shall be posted at the website of the Commission at least fifteen (15) days prior to the electoral activity concerned."

Not done.  Although a Comelec Resolution was issued to cover these.







Not know whether these were furnished.






No copy published.


1.8  Sec 12.  "Examination and Testing of Equipment or Device of the AES and Opening of the Source Code for Review"

The Commission shall allow the political parties and candidates or their representatives,  citizens' arm or their representatives to examine and test.

"The equipment or device to be used in the voting and counting on the day of the electoral exercise, before voting start. Test ballots and test forms shall be provided by the Commission.

"Immediately after the examination and testing of the equipment or device, parties and candidates or their representatives, citizen's arms or their representatives, may submit a written comment to the election officer who shall  immediately transmit it to the Commission for appropriate action.

"The election officer shall keep minutes of the testing, a copy of which shall be submitted to the Commission together with the minute of voting."

"Once an AES technology is selected for implementation, the Commission shall promptly make the source code of that technology available and open to any interested political party or groups  which may conduct their own review thereof."







No test by the parties were made prior to the voting on election day.  The only test made was after the reconfiguration of the CFCs using 10 sample ballots.














No such minutes were made.






















1.9 Sec 13.  Official Ballot

The Commission shall prescribe the format of the electronic display and/or the size and form of the official ballot, which shall contain the titles of the position to be filled and/or the proposition to be voted upon in an initiative, referendum or plebiscite.

Comelec first made the list of candidates on a vertical list format but later shifted to a horizontal list per position.


1.10  Sec 17.  Notice of Designation of Counting Centers

The election officer shall post prominently in his/her office, in the bulletin boards at the city/municipal hall and in three other conspicuous places in the city/municipality, the notice on the designated counting center(s) for at least three weeks prior to election day. The notice shall specify the precincts covered by each counting center and the number of registered voters in each of said precincts . The election officer shall also furnish a copy of the notice to the headquarters or official address of the political parties or independent candidates within the same period. The election officer shall post in the Commission website concerned the said notice and publish the notice in the local newspaper. Where the polling place or voting center is also the designated counting center, such information shall be contained in the notice.

No such lists were posted in the city/municipal halls, nor provided the political parties.



















Such lists were not also posted in the Comelec website nor published in the local newspapers.


1.11 Sec 18 and 19  Election returns

The Commission shall prescribe the manner and procedure of counting the votes under the automated system:  Provided, that apart from the electronically stored result, thirty (30) copies of the election return are printed."

Comelec provided these in the BEI General Instructions; and printed 30 copies of the ERs.

Some protestors have shown ERs with "Citibank Mastercard" marks and had prior dates to elections, and several post dates marked.

A.  Distribution of ER copies

(as above)

(as above)


B.  Electronic Transmission

"Within one hour after the printing of the election returns, the chairman of the board of election inspectors or any official authorized by the Commission shall, in the presence of watchers and representatives of the accredited citizens' arm, political parties/candidates, if any, electronically transmit the precinct results to the respective levels of board of canvassers,  to the dominant majority and minority party, to the accredited citizen's arm, and to the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

"The election results at the city/municipality canvassing centers shall be transmitted in the same manner  by the election officer or any official authorized by the commission to the district or provincial canvassing centers.



"The election returns transmitted electronically and digitally signed shall be considered as official election results  and shall be used as the basis for the canvassing of votes and the proclamation of a candidate."

The BEI, in the observed voting centers of Pampanga, transmitted the vote results to the Comelec server, the PPCRV and KBP.















The canvassed election results were transmitted to the Comelec server.




















This transmission step of precinct to Comelec Server was not provided for by RA 9369.  The problem would be that anyone in control of the Comelec Server would already know the trend of the voting prior to the precinct results going to the municipal/city as mandated.


This is now the legal subject in the National Canvassing as digital signatures as required by RA 9369 were not purposely utilized upon orders of the Comelec.

1.12 Sec. 20  Canvassing by Provincial, City, District and Municipal Boards of Canvassers

"Within one hour after the canvassing, the Chairman of the district or provincial Board of Canvassers or the city board of canvassers of those cities which comprise one or more legislative districts shall electronically transmit the certificate of canvass to the commission  sitting as the national board of canvassers for senators and party-list representatives and to the Congress as the National Board of Canvassers for the president and vice president, directed to the President of the Senate.

"The Commission shall adopt adequate and effective measures to preserve the integrity of the certificates of canvass transmitted electronically and the results in the storage devices at the various levels of the boards of canvassers.

"The certificates of canvass transmitted electronically and digitally signed shall be considered as official election results and shall be used as the basis for the proclamation of a winning candidate."

The canvassed election results were transmitted first to the Comelec server, then to the various canvassing centers.















No such measures were released nor announced.


Comelec Resolution 8786 instructed the BEIs not to indicate their digital signatures for the transmission.

In the first hours of canvassing in the City of San Fernando, what was shown in the projected canvass, after the election, were only the number of precincts reporting without vote results.






















See 1.11 B above assessment.


1.13 Sec. 24  Random Manual Audit

Where the AES is used, there shall be a random manual audit in one  precinct per congressional district randomly chosen by the Commission in each province and city. Any difference between the automated and manual count will result in the determination of root cause and initiate a manual count for those precincts affected by the computer or procedural error."

Same as item 1.3 f above.


The RMA precincts were raffled 12 noon of election day.  As observed in Pampanga, the RMA in one precinct in Telabastagan was started at 8pm election day.

Same as item 1.3 f above.


PPCRV and Comelec  announced some .07% discrepancies in about 400 ERs audited as of 21 May.  No target completion was announced.

1.14 Sec. 26  Stakeholder education and training

The Commission shall, not later than six months before the actual automated election exercise, undertake a widespread stakeholder education and training program, through newspaper of general circulation, radio, television and other media forms, as well as through seminars, symposia, fora and other nontraditional means, to educate the public and fully inform the electorate about the AES and inculcate values on honest, peaceful, orderly and informed elections.

Comelec initiated the stakeholder education and training program together with concerned peoples' groups and organizations through print, radio and TV media.


1.15 Sec. 30  Rules and Regulations

The Commission shall promulgate rules and regulation for the implementation and enforcement of this Act.

No implementing rules and regulations were provided for the implementation and enforcement of this Act.






2.  Contract Between Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM




2.1   Compliance to RA9369 provisions


Contract indicated provisions and attachments that comply with RA 9369, the Terms of Reference and Project Specifications of the Bid.

As stated in the various items in this column, there were many required specifications that were disregarded, disabled and not provided for in the actual implementation.

2.2   Reasonableness of Pricing

Total Smartmatic Contract is P7,191.4 million





10%:  Project Initialization, Set up Project Management Team and Project Systems including all SW licenses and firmware- P719 million


5%: Delivery of Development Set (20 PCOS units)- P359 million



5%: Report on Transmission and Logistics- P359 million


5%: Delivery of Functional System and Software- P359 million


Project Management- P99.9 million






82,200 PCOS machines (lease) – P3,346 million





Total software – P42 million


Electronic Transmission – P199.9 m


Logistics – P916 million


Comelec agreed to all these pricing provisions.

Although this pricing is below the P11,230 million budget, there are certain items that are way above industry price levels.


This will be difficult to justify considering it is only initialization and set-up, and considering the main software is only P42 million.


The cost of 20 PCOS units is about P1.0 million.  The balance of P358 million would be difficult to justify.


The actual services and equipment for transmission is only P199.9 million, logistics is P916 m, so it would again be difficult to justify such as report.


The Project is for a year, and certainly this amount is extravagant as no such Project team would justify such an amount for their services.


One PCOS is leased for P45,419, which is almost the purchase price of one available in the market, further should be lower as a big volume is ordered.


2.3   Compliance to contract provisions

See items 3 and 4 below.

See items 3 and 4 below.

See items 3 and 4 below.

3.  Project Management




3.1  Project Manager

Requirement for the Project Manager:

·      Minimum fifteen (15) years relevant IT experience;

·      At least ten (10) years experience in managing large-scale multi-site IT development and implementation projects involving relational databases and wide area networks;

·      With actual experience in assisting in the bid processes of any government agency following RA 9184 – Philippine government procurement rules, regulations and processes


No Project Manager of Smartmatic has been identified, shown nor quoted during the entire election period, up to the present.

Questions arising from the IT community have been raised whether the Smartmatic and Comelec Project Managers are really qualified and experienced to perform the required work, as shown by project delays and non-compliance to key and critical aspects of the automation.

3.2  Completion of planned activities

A time schedule was posted in the Comelec website.

There had been delays in the deliveries of the PCOS machines and completion of activities. 


Light penalties were charged to Smartmatic.

These delays led to insufficient testing, to note particularly the one that led to the Monday May 3 episode that rushed the Final Testing and Sealing of the PCOS machines and reconfigured CF cards.


Such delays are now being considered as critical to the resolution of protests regarding irregularities found out in the voting results.  

4.  Deliverables




4.1   Compliance to quality of project specifications

Several certifications were required and specified.

Only the certification by SysTest was announced but not published.

Lack of transparency by Comelec and Smartmatic on these requirements puts to doubt the test quality and implementation results of the whole system.

4.2   Adherence to timetables

See item 3.2 above

See item 3.2 above

See item 3.2 above

        Canvass and proclamation of winners

As provided for in the Project Timetable:  Finish by 05.13.10


Canvass about 90% by 17 May

Proclamation of 9 of 12 senators made 17 May.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 29 May 2010 18:17

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