Press Release
June 6, 2019

Statement of Sen. Francis Pangilinan on JCOC investigation of May 2019 elections
LP continues to ask, 'Anyare, Comelec': Sen. Kiko

On the conduct of the May 13 elections, we continue to await a response from the Commission on Elections on several issues that it still has not been able to adequately explain, mainly the 7-hour glitch. Comelec has yet to officially turn over its technical report and findings on the reason behind the glitch and has yet to release all logs of the transparency server for examination and scrutiny. Until these are submitted we withhold drawing conclusions as to the overall conduct of the elections.

Comelec has also not provided us with the party's official requests (made at least twice) for the complete list of corrupted SD (secure digital) cards and malfunctioning VCM (vote-counting machines) in four regions that affected over 3 million votes. These have yet to be turned over and the reasons for the defects and malfunction remain unclear. Identifying these corrupted SD cards and malfunctioning VCMs are critical as over 3 million votes were affected and in the Senate race, the difference between 9th (15,510,026 votes, final official tally) and 14th place (14,117,528, official tally as of May 20) is below 3 million at 1,392,498 votes.

Moreover, the issue of the certifying agency giving its thumbs-up to the readiness of the AES (automated election system) with these glitches happening on election day remains to be thoroughly explained. Why did they certify that the marking pens were good -- only for the pens to be recalled? Why did they certify to the efficacy of the VCMs and the SD cards only for the machines to bog down and the SD cards being of poor quality in unprecedented numbers?

Post-election, the issue raised during the hearing of the election management staff comprising Comelec and Smartmatic personnel having the capacity to have "rogue" VCMs send bogus or altered ER (election return) results needs further investigation. Did it happen in the May 2019 elections? A thorough investigation conducted by the incoming JCOC must be pursued.

We also wish to clarify that the media erroneously identified Congressman Edgar Erice as the campaign manager of the Liberal Party. He was campaign manager of Mar Roxas not of the LP Otso Diretso coalition slate and his views are personal to him and do not reflect our own as campaign manager of the entire slate.

Overall, the diminished role of Smartmatic and the expanded role of Comelec in the maintenance and operations of the AES places the onus of the various glitches on the poll body.

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