Comelec: Updated source code done, installed

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The Commission on Election (Comelec) on Friday said it was able to complete the installation of the updated source codes on some 97,000 Vote Counting Machines (VCM) that it will use for the 2019 polls.

Comelec spokesperson James B. Jimenez they are now in the process of conducting necessary Pre-Logic Accuracy Test (LAT) on the said units.

“This means we already configured the machines and we already equipped them with the software. We are now testing these if the installation process was correct,” Jimenez told BusinessMirror in an ambush interview.

Based from Comelec’s preparation timeline for the 2019 elections, the Pre-LAT is expected to be completed on April 30, 2019.

As part of its source code preparations, Comelec was also able to complete the mandatory depositing of its copies of its certified 2019 election source codes–Election Management System (EMS), VCM, and Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS)–at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) escrow on Friday.

This is in compliance with the provisions of the Republic Act No. 9369 or the Automated Election Law.

“The source code be put in escrow at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for Safekeeping. The purpose really is to make sure that there is a copy we could refer to in the future if ever the integrity of the [vote counting] machine are called into question,” Jimenez said in a press conference.

Comelec Law Department Executive Director Jose M. Tolentino, Jr. said they have yet to encounter an instance when they have to retrieve the copy of the stored source codes in the BSP. 

He noted the said copies could only be retrieved through the approval of the Comelec en banc, BSP, and the court intervention.

“If ever Comelec will do that I am sure Comelec will explain to the public why it is necessary to get the source code and to the BSP,” Tolentino said.

Currently, BSP has copies of the sources codes used in the Automated Election System (AES) in 2010, 2013, 2016, and recently 2019. 


Samuel P. Medenilla

A reporter who covers the labor beat for the BusinessMirror. He graduated with a journalism degree at the University of Santo Tomas in 2009.