AN IT expert, who is an accredited observer of the poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, has in his possession evidence that shows the hash code of the transparency server had been breached by Smartmatic officials to introduce a new script that may have “rigged” the results and compromised the entire system in partial and unofficial counting in favor of administration candidates.
A few hours after the breach, the IT expert source who requested anonymity, said a “clogging” in the system was observed and the one-million lead of independent vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. over his closest rival Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo of the ruling Liberal Party started to narrow down.
The source said the “major breach” would now compel Marcos and other senatorial candidates – Francis Tolentino, Senator Sergio Osmena III and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez – who ranked 13th, 14th and 15th, respectively, to question the integrity of the results and demand answers from the Commission on Elections how the violation of protocols could have possibly happened.
The source said all the PPCRV’s unofficial and Comelec’s official results would come only from a single source – the transparency server of the Comelec.
In an interview at past midnight Thursday, the IT expert revealed that a Venezuelan IT expert of Smartmatic, the Comelec supplier of the vote counting machines or VCM, has violated the protocol and the country’s laws by tampering with the “hash codes” that protected the integrity of the files containing the results.
“The whole system has been compromised. The integrity of the results is now under question. While everybody was busy doing the counting, the Venezuelan IT expert from Smartmatic inserted a new script or a new computer program into the system around 7:30 p.m.of Monday, May 9, 2016,” the IT expert told The Standard.
The IT expert said there was no Comelec official present when the tampering of the system took place.
When confronted, the source said the Venezuelan admitted that the order to introduce a new script came from Marlon Garcia, project director of Smartmatic.
The source said the “confrontation” had been recorded on video and audio.
“The Smartmatic IT expert’s job was only to ‘receive, decrypt and distribute’ the files. Since we are also IT experts and we have been doing this since the preparation for seven months already, we knew what the Venezuelan did was something irregular. He introduced a new script, a new computer program and commands that could alter everything and supercede the existing program,” he said.
He explained that the breach was confirmed when the “hash code” that was inside the transparency server was different from the hash code brought in by the Smartmatic.
“The hash code inside the transparency server should be the same as the one to be inserted. We saw they’re different so we started to be suspicious and confronted the guy,” the source said.
The Venezuelan used as excuse that a new script had to be inserted because one of the candidate’s names that appeared on the screen was erroneous, the source said.
“What an excuse? The guy was obviously pulling our leg. We are IT experts, we know a new program was not needed to make changes in the name. So if he could alter the name, then he could alter the results. He could alter the entire command,” the source said.
The source said the Venezuelan ran out of excuses when they demanded that he identify who among the candidates had complained about his or her erroneous name but could not show any record of the complaint filed.
The source said they immediately informed PPCRV’s Henrietta de Villa who appeared adamant in making public the breach.
De Villa instructed the IT experts to discuss the problem with William Yu, PPCRV’s IT expert, he said.
At 8 p.m. of May 10, the source said De Villa had a conference with the IT experts that included the source, and recounted to her everything that transpired and the violations that could have been committed by Smartmatic.
At 2 p.m. of May 11, The Standard sought De Villa’s comment on the breach and she vehemently denied there was such an incident.
She also ignored the request from the Marcos camp to stop the PPCRV count and maintained that the Comelec had not ordered the PPCRV to do so.
De Villa insisted the PPCRV’s transparency server was “safe and secure” and that there was “no incident report” from PPCRV IT experts about any problem.
“Of course De Villa is lying. She was made aware of such breach and she could not possibly deny it since there is a CCTV camera of the conference, where she was told about the incident,” the source said.
The source said the video and audio that comprise the evidence would be made public very soon.
The source said a deeper probe must be done to find out the extent of the breach.
“The probe will allow us to do an analysis as to the extent of the breach. It will tell us how much votes had been shaved from one candidate and transferred to another. It will also reveal who benefited from the anomalous actions done by Smartmatic,” the source said.
Marcos’ political campaign adviser Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz demanded answers from the Comelec about the breach.
He said the Comelec would be made accountable for the serious breach.
The IT expert said several provisions of Republic Acts 8436 and 9369 also known as the Automated Election Law had been violated by the Smartmatic and Comelec.
These laws, he said, prohibit any act that could affect the electoral process or results.