Comelec’s final source code version ready by next week

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced on Thursday that it will be coming out with the final version of the source code for the 2019 automated elections next week.

Source code is the human-readable machine language used by the Comelec for the automated election system (AES).

In a statement, Comelec Spokesman James B. Jimenez said they will soon be presenting the “trusted build” after its components passed through the review of the United States-based software testing firm, Pro V & V.

He said the source code has been successfully “trusted” by Pro V & V after the firm was able to check all of its parts as these performed its intended functions; and there are no embedded malicious instruction in its codes.

“This is important for the credibility of the system because it provides the assurance that the system is not made from shady components; and that all the components have been properly reviewed and cleared,” Jimenez said.

The source code is scheduled to be “build” in Alabama, USA, on December 14 at 8 a.m., wherein its separate components will be assembled.

“Hence, trusted build simply means assembling the program using the reviewed components,” Jimenez said.

“The entire proceedings will be broadcast live via FB Live,” he added. Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo will be present at the viewing of the event to address the concerns of the media.

Once the “trusted build” is completed, it will be kept by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in escrow as required by Republic Act 9326, or the poll automation law.

Jimenez explained the trusted build will be used to produce a “digital fingerprint,” which can be used to check if the AES is functioning correctly.

“If we have the program running the VCM [vote counting machines], it should give a digital fingerprint that matches the one we got from the trusted build,” Jimenez said.


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.