Logistics provider ‘at no point’ could tamper poll outcome

Logistics provider ‘at no point’ could tamper poll outcome

MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said the public should not worry about the logistic provider that will handle the delivery of vote counting machines (VCMs) to the different deployment hubs in the country.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez made this assurance after the poll body signed the PHP539.99 million contract with F2 Logistics for the delivery of VCMs and ballots in the May 2022 national and local elections.

In his Twitter account, Jimenez said that after delivery, the VCMs will undergo final testing and sealing up to three days before the election day on May 9.

“We know the VCMs are working properly; If the machines still malfunction, backup VCMs are used; before voting starts, the VCMs print out a zero-report proving that there are no preprogrammed results in the machine’s memory,” Jimenez said.

After voting ends, he said the VCM will print out an election return hard copy which is then certified by the electoral board and watchers.

“After that, the VCM transmits election returns to a) the municipal canvassing system; b) the central server; and c) the transparency server; after transmission, the main memory card is hand carried by the electoral board to the municipal canvassing system, and the VCM is packed up and awaits pick up to be returned to the deployment hubs,” he added.

He said several safeguards are in place to ensure that the logistics provider cannot tamper with votes cast.

“As you can see, at no point is the logistics provider able to tamper with the election outcome, either because of process safeguards (like the zero-report) or the fact that the VCMs have practically nothing to do with the results once the results have been reported out,” Jimenez said.

“All this on top of the fact that the actual deliveries will be witnessed and monitored closely,” he added.

He said there is no reason for the contract of F2 Logistics Philippines Inc. to be canceled.

He added that there should be a well-founded reason for the contract not to push through.

“Well, there will have to be a valid reason for a recession of the contract. There would have to be some sort of violation of the terms of the contract,” he said in a television interview on Tuesday.

“There would have to be some sort of violation by F2, or a change in circumstances all of a sudden, the Comelec no longer need the contract, I suppose a case can be made for rescission then, but in terms of what’s being floated now, in terms of suggestions being made, again that would not be grounds for rescission,” he added. (PNA)

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