Poll fraud claims by Vice Mayor Ilagan

Other allegations of poll fraud and discrepancies by losing candidates were raised Thursday at the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms' hearing on the automated elections, but these were quickly debunked by Smartmatic and election officials.

San Pablo City vice mayor Frederick Martin Ilagan, who lost his reeelection bid, told the House panel that two people who claimed to be a "brokers" for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and technology provider Smartmatic — Ed Bumagat, and Manolo Gonzales — offered to rig the elections for him and his local partymates.

The two claimed the votes could be rigged by using duplicate Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines to transmit election results three days prior to the elections, or by reconfiguring the compact flash (CF) cards in the machines to favor the vote counts for certain candidates, Ilagan said.

"The offer made me think for two days," Ilagan said, adding that the proposal was made during the second week of February.

Ilagan told reporters after the hearing that the alleged poll fraud operators asked for P30 million to rig the votes for congressman, mayor, vice mayor and 10 councilors; P15 million for mayor, vice mayor, and 10 councilors; and P8 million for mayor, vice mayor, and five councilors.

The defeated vice mayor said he eventually made a "counter-offer" of P500,000 to the operator to "protect" the votes for him.

The operators said they would consider the offer but did not contact Ilagan again.

He said he didn't raise the matter to authorities immediately because he "just thought of [them] as scam artists or syndicates trying to get money from [his] party" after they failed to contact him again.

Ilagan said he was no longer interested in the vice mayoral post, and was there are at the hearing to "shed light" on the poll fraud issue.

But Smartmatic election systems manager Heider Garcia promptly replied that the methods cited by the supposed operator were not possible.

Encryption keys for the automated system were still being generated in February so the alleged poll operators couldn't possibly know how to manipulate the data, Garcia said.

"The PCOS are offline during the entire process," he said, adding that the central server was also protected by a firewall that was not lifted until election day when actual results from precincts were transmitted.

"Before that, nothing can come into the central server," said Garcia.

He added that even if there were duplicate PCOS machine transmissions, the system could detect if two sets of data were coming in from the same precinct.

SOURCE: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/192542/other-poll-fraud-claims-quickly-debunked-by-comelec-smartmatic?success