JUST two days before the May 9 presidential elections, frontrunner former Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. has called on voters to be vigilant and guard against reported threats of large-scale fraud that could discredit the results of the upcoming political exercise.
Marcos is number 7 in the official Comelec ballot.
The standard-bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), stressed that voters, not just candidates and the Commission on Elections (Comelec), should be on guard and thwart such threats to protect the sanctity of the ballots.
“We just have to be vigilant, we have to pay attention. Make sure na nakabantay tayong mabuti. Guard your vote, whoever you are voting for,” he said in a recent sidelines interview.
Marcos made the statement as President Rodrigo Duterte issued a call to make the May 9 national elections honest and orderly, vowing to uphold the law and not allow terrorism or any illegal activity disrupt the upcoming polls.
BBM and running mate Mayor Inday Sara Duterte are carrying the UniTeam banner.
He also disclosed that they are concerned, not only with reported attempts by some groups in Mindanao to subvert the results of the polls, but practically the whole country with regards to possible large-scale election fraud, “since such operation is not done on the ground but in some secret places”.
Marcos added that in addition to campaigning, his camp is also focusing on vote protection in these last days of the campaign.
“Marami na tayong natutunan since 2016. We spent the last six years studying the problem. We learned many, many things. We know much better now what the system is and ano ‘yung mga weakness,” he said.
Marcos, who ran for vice president in 2016, said it was thanks to the lessons they learned in that election that they were immediately alerted by the reported data breach involving poll software provider Smartmatic’s online infrastructure.
“Kaya nung nagkaroon ng security breach sa Smartmatic e nakita kaagad. I’m worried about the security breach because of the changing statements. These are the things na tinututukan namin to make sure na hindi na maulit o mabawasan ang possibility ng malakihang pandaraya,” he said.
Previously, the Comelec conducted a walk-through of the transparency media center at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), attended by members of the media and other election stakeholders for the May 9 local and national polls.
During the walk-through, the Comelec assured the public that the transparency server has been tested and that the unfortunate seven-hour delay in the transmittal of election results in 2019 would not happen again.
The poll body explained that part of the long transmission delay in 2019 was the policy that a resolution from Comelec en banc was required to fix the server glitch.
But it could have been done by simply rebooting the server.
Thus, the poll body has issued a resolution that the simple rebooting task could be done by the head of the technology transmission group, provided the source code would not be touched.
Like in the past, the Comelec said there will be a 15-minute interval in the transmission of the results to the media server, but the transmission of poll results from the vote-counting machines (VCMs) to the transparency server is real-time.
The poll body has also assured of an uninterrupted power source at Comelec IFO Pier data center as it has a backup facility that will take care of any potential power supply glitch.