Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. camp was surprised to learn directly that Smartmatic had used several servers apart from those sanctioned by the Commission on Elections during the May 2016 elections.
“This is a good day for Senator Marcos’ quest for truth because they (Smartmatic) finally admitted the existence of several other servers aside from the three legally authorized servers,” Rodriguez told reporters after a hearing at the Manila Prosecutor’s Office.
Marcos cited the admission of Marlon Garcia, head of the Technical Support Team of Venezuela’s Smartmatic, that aside from using the three servers sanctioned by the Comelec in the transmission of votes under the Automated Election System (AES), there also existed a ‘meet me room’ where several servers were housed.
But Smartmatic lawyer George Aquino denied there were major changes on the night of May 9 when almost one-million margin of Marcos was overtaken by his rival, now VP Leni Robredo.
He said it was a simple change in a typographical error, changing to “?” to “ñ.” he said.
“The media noticed the error, so technical people corrected it,” said Aquino.
Aquino pointed out that the correction of the typo error was not connected with the results and he denied that there was manipulation of votes.
“The votes from the Voting Counting Machines were sent to the Central Server and the Transparency Server. When they reached the Transparency Server the votes were not transferred to anywhere. So, there was no way to manipulate it,” Aquino said.
Marcos’ camp earlier revealed the existence of “Fourth Server” or the “Queue Servers” that had been kept from the public by the Comelec and Smartmatic.
Rodriguez pointed out that the transmitted votes were first coursed through “Queue Servers” instead of transmitting it directly to the three servers which are the Municipal Board of Canvassing Server, the Comelec Server and the Transparency Server.
But Garcia admitted that he introduced changes in the Transparency Server and that he did so with the concurrence of Peñalba.
Ever since Marcos’ camp made a disclosure about the existence of the “Queue Servers” last May, both the Smartmatic and Comelec were ‘silent’ on its existence.
Charged with violation of Section 4(a) of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or R.A. 10175 were Garcia, a Venezuelan national, Elie Moreno, an Israeli national and project director, Neil Baniqued and Mauricio Herrera, both members of the Technical Support Team, and Comelec IT experts led by Rouie Peñalba, Nelson Herrera and Frances Mae Gonzalez who were all assigned to the Information Technology Department.
As the hearing ended, the investigating panel ordered the respondents to submit their rejoinder and answer questions raised by the complainant on July 29, giving all parties 10 days to submit their respective replies.