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Dec 04th
Home Sections History Pumping Patriotic Sense into the Filipino Subservient Chicken Starts as a Joke…
Pumping Patriotic Sense into the Filipino Subservient Chicken Starts as a Joke… PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ado Paglinawan   
Saturday, 17 July 2010 19:13


Pumping Patriotic Sense into the Filipino Subservient Chicken Starts as a Joke…


And ends with So-called errors and faults in the Poll Automation as deliberate.


By Ado Paglinawan


"Crisis of Sovereignty" Series (Part 14)


An e-mailer once said we should really feel bad about having fake elections, after all the United States of America, in the light of recent documentary proofs uncovered, may now be headed by a Kenyan.


Frankly I don’t find that funny at all because that is a sovereignty issue.


When the Philippine Congress reverses our 200-mile limit to please China, and the President of the Philippines signs up, and not a whimper of protest did I hear from any Filipino, his sovereignty just flew out of the window.


When the Supreme Court in a decision plagiarized from a foreign-position paper, says that Japan has no culpability whatsoever for institutionalizing "comfort women" among its Filipino female subjects during World War II, and neither did I see any indignation from very own male counterparts, then I see some validation in how our former colonizers called us in our own vernacular “sons of bitches”.


When most Filipinos ran their day with business as usual even in the face of more-than 1,000 of our own men and women becoming victims of extra-judicial killings, then I am already desensitized at the gruesome murder of civilians and journalists in some hill in Maguindanao blamed at one Muslim clan, even if it reeks of a conspiracy by some members of our government looking for justification for the declaration of martial law to prolong their hold on power.


W hen Gloria Macapagal Arroyo walks away scot-free, after openly cheating Fernando Poe, Jr., in the 2004 elections while his million fans don’t make a national howl, then I don’t blame her for taking a second shot by stealing the 2010 election to install her final choice to succeed her, in exchange for a golden parachute protecting her from any litigations for plunder and other heinous crimes she had committed during her nine-year term.


But never has the subservient chicken in every Filipino been disturbed to the extent that the present crisis of sovereignty has provoked.


The recklessness at which the Commission on Election implemented the conspiracy to thwart another national and local election, in cahoots with the executive, legislative and perhaps the judicial arms of the government, has left so many bloodstains in its track, it was not hard at all to decipher its rapacity and sense of impunity nor produce proofs of yet another stab at the people’s sovereignty.


Former President Gloria Arroyo and her chief Houdini, the former Interior and Local Government Secretary, had so framed her exit in a manner both profitable financially and politically. Their stranglehold on Smartmatic was such that the incoming regime would have no choice but to pay and entrance fee and co-opt concessions for political survival.


To put this in place, they leveled the Comelec, a constitutional body, to the lowest of Hades that used to belong only to customs and internal revenue. Never before in dastardly fashion that politicians did procure over the counter, elective positions for less than their weight in gold. Koala bear said that Comelec sold packaged deals through seven operators nationwide.


The scheme sucked from the very beginning, with Comelec outsourcing its constitutional mandate and empowerment to Smartmatic, where from its headquarters in Cabuyao, Laguna, Ronnie Puno would frustrate all safeguards and control the joystick. How this becomes possible is written all over his email exchanges with hacker Gary Hardaway away many many weeks before the elections.


This time, however, the conspirators delivered the country into a constitutional crisis. Today there is golden opportunity to catch up with these degenerates and put them behind bars as capital punishment has long been outlawed.


To those who are hard at seeing and hearing the truth, here is a plain and simple talk from Rene Azurin, who explains scientific corroboration to the assertions that Homobono Adaza, Mentong Laurel and I filed before the Supreme Court.



Thursday, July 15, 2010 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Strategic Perspective -- by René B. Azurin 


The digital signatures issue


It is an interesting argument: since the required digital signatures of the members of the Board of Election Inspectors are absent from the electronically transmitted election returns in the automated May 2010 polls, then those returns cannot be official; ergo, these cannot be the basis for the official canvass to determine who are the winners. Since lawyer Homobono Adaza has now filed a motion before the Supreme Court to declare the elections "null and void" on this basis, we now have to consider this argument seriously.


To begin to understand what’s involved, let’s be clear first on what exactly is meant by this now much bruited-about term, "digital signature." What it is not -- in one misconception -- is a scanned electronic copy of an actual signature. In a nutshell, what the term "digital signature" refers to is a special file -- consisting of a very long series of data bits -- that is installed on a computer to identify who the user is to other parties. In essence, documents "signed" with this file -- known as a digital certificate -- gives the recipient of the document the means to verify the identity of the one sending it and to be assured that the document has not been altered in any way by anyone else. The whole process is actually done through cryptographic codes, that is, using digital keys (a public one and a private one) that encrypt and decrypt data in a way that is unique to the sender. In this mathematically imaginative way, sender identity, data integrity, and date and time of transmission can be independently validated by authorized third parties.


Digital certificates are issued by a trusted "Certification Authority" (like Verisign). These are widely used in e-commerce, banking, and other applications requiring security and confidentiality.


In the post-election forum on poll automation that I referred to in last week’s column, much discussion revolved precisely around this particular digital signatures requirement. (I mistakenly neglected to mention last week that, in addition to the Philippine Computer Society, the Philippine Electronics and Telecommunications Federation, and the Movement for Good Governance, both Namfrel and Philippine Software Industry Association president Ms. Beng Coronel were also co-organizers of the forum.) In that (July 5th) forum, local IT industry leaders tried to provide a critical assessment of Comelec’s and Smartmatic’s flawed implementation of the poll automation exercise. The intention of this "sharing" was to arrive at recommendations for improving the conduct of automated elections, if indeed "automated" was going to be the way we would conduct all our future elections.


In the presentation of Al Vitangcol III, who has a master’s degree in computer science and is a certified "computer hacking forensic investigator" (and who also happens to be a lawyer), he pointed out that Comelec resolutions 8786, 8798, and 8803 specifically direct the Board of Election Inspectors to press the "NO" option when asked by a PCOS machine if they would "like to digitally sign the transmission files with a BEI digital signature key." This is in direct contravention of the Terms of Reference in the Comelec contract with automation system provider Smartmatic which requires that, "The system shall transmit digitally signed and encrypted election results and reports enabled by public/private key cryptography to provide authenticity, integrity, and non-repudiation utilizing at least a 128-bit encryption scheme [emphasis in the original]."


T his Comelec directive also violates the poll automation law (R.A. 8436 as amended by R.A. 9369) which specifically requires that, "The election returns transmitted electronically and digitally signed shall be considered as official elections results and shall be used as the basis for the canvassing of votes and the proclamation of a candidate."


Mr. Vitangcol reported that the Joint Forensic Team, in its findings dated June 9, 2010, notably stated, "Examination of the PCOS machines revealed that there was no evidence to prove the existence of digital certificates in the PCOS machines, contrary to the claims of Smartmatic. The technicians of Smartmatic were not even able to show to the forensic team the machine version of the digital signature."


Another prominent IT forensic expert, also a member of the Joint Forensic Team, Drexx Laggui, said that an audit of the files on the Smartmatic machine’s main compact flash card, showed that there are "No BEI keys with which to sign results." He confirmed that "nothing was found to show that digital certificates were in the cards or in the machines." Mr. Laggui looked amused when he said that "Hecber Cordova and Heider Garcia (of Smartmatic) assures us that there are digital certificates in the machines, it is just that they have no tools to extract them." Ah, yes.


The foregoing confirms Mr. Adaza’s contention about the missing digital signatures. Whether or not the Supreme Court will rule that this is sufficient to nullify the results of the just concluded elections is, however, another matter. It is essential, though, that the court rules on this matter without any delay.


As I’ve explained in previous columns, the decision of top Comelec and Smartmatic officers to deliberately not enable the use of personal digital signatures for election officials means that it is impossible now to pinpoint responsibility for the transmission of a particular set of election results or to validate the authenticity of data transmitted since anyone could easily impersonate a specific election official and maliciously alter data being sent. Not using digital signatures also makes it more convenient for Smartmatic and Comelec officers to explain away the otherwise inexplicable discrepancies in the date and time stamps on assorted election returns.


And, as I’ve said before, I am convinced that the so-called errors and faults in the implementation of the poll automation exercise were deliberate. That Comelec and Smartmatic officers can actually face the Filipino public and claim that this defective election was "a success" is, to me, only a demonstration of unbelievable cheek. # # #


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Last Updated on Sunday, 18 July 2010 08:16

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If a man will begin with certainties,he shall end with doubts;but if he will be content to begin with doubts,he shall end in certainties.-- Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626