Caritas Philippines, the Catholic Church’s social action arm, is supporting a petition asking the Supreme Court to compel the preservation of transmission logs of the May 9 elections.
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, Caritas Philippines head, said the move is necessary to verify observations of a discrepancy in the transmissions.
“If there are still questions about the credibility of the political exercise, the Commission on Elections should be able to present evidence at once that would erase such doubt,” Bishop Bagaforo said.
“We pray that the Supreme Court, as the highest and last-resort judicial body, will take into consideration the constitutional right of the Filipino people to be assured that their right of suffrage is respected and that every single vote is counted,” he said.
Under the cybercrime law, computer data shall be preserved for a minimum of six months from the date of the transaction. Authorities, however, may order another six-month extension before they are allowed to be destroyed.
Petitioners, led by former Information and Communications Technology Usecretary Eliseo Rio, also asked the Supreme Court to issue a “mandamus” for the Comelec to submit the transmission reports to the High Court.
“This was the first time in our election history, and maybe in the whole world, that vote counting peaked at the very first hour after voting closed,” said the group.
“In that first hour, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., all precincts are required by the Comelec general instructions to print eight copies of the precinct election return before any transmissions can be made. The earliest transmissions from the precinct vote counting machines (VCMs) would be at 7:30 p.m.”
“But Comelec would like us to believe that from 7:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the transparency server would have counted a peak of 20 million plus votes, while on the next hour, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., the same server would have counted only 13.2 million,” they said.
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