Customized for cheating? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 March 2016 14:01

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

Members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee are of the opinion that bank officials, personnel of remittance companies and hackers may have conspired to launder the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh central bank.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto disclosed such possibility of a “grand conspiracy”, saying those involved clearly planned the whole thing last year when the four accounts where the stolen money was deposited were opened at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) Jupiter Branch in Makati City.

Adding he cannot make any final judgment, he stuck to their theory of a possible conspiracy because the accounts were opened last year but remained dormant.

In explaining, the conspiracy scheme, he said there is no way that such a huge transaction can be executed by just one individual particularly RCBC Jupiter Branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito.

And Deguito reportedly admitted opening an account for Filipino-Chinese businessman William Go, into whose account the hacked money was deposited.

Recto narrated, “there were four accounts opened in the branch last year under the names of Enrico Vasquez, Alfred Vergara, Michael Cruz and Jessie Christopher Lagrosas with a deposit of $500 each.

The next transactions happened on February 5, 2016 where the $81 million was divided.

But the money was withdrawn simultaneously and deposited in the account of Go.

On the other hand, Go, who owns brokerage firm Centurytex Trading, denied owning the account where the stolen money was deposited and insisted that he never opened an account in RCBC Jupiter Branch.

Deguito refused to answer questions of senators but expressed her willingness to provide all information in an executive session, reasoning that a money laundering case is pending against before the Department of Justice (DOJ) and that all her statements relating to the case can be used against her if she will talk during the hearing. (With TMT newsfeeds)

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is reported to be in a rush to look into how it can comply with the directive now that the Supreme Court has ordered the printing of the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), generically referred to as the voter receipt.

Comelec, however, still sticks to its suggested alternatives such as the possibility of reverting to manual elections, postponing it - and in addition now - putting forward a no election scenario.

And it is likewise reported, the poll body is set to file a Motion for Reconsideration and will seek to demonstrate VVPAT printing and explain its time and motion studies.

The Supreme Court decision came as welcome news to groups who have long been demanding that VVPAT printing be enabled. VVPAT printing will result in increased credibility of the election results by empowering the voters to check if the PCOS machine correctly identified and recorded their choices as marked on the ballot.

One big question looms - Can enabling the VVPAT printing be done with just about fifty-five (55) days left before election day?

Smartmatic has indicated that enabling VVPAT printing in each PCOS machine will require a configuration change in the PCOS configuration file. The PCOS configuration file is generated by the Election Management System (EMS). Smartmatic will have to open the EMS software source code and modify it to turn on the “soft switch” parameter that enables the VVPAT printing by the PCOS.

The EMS source code, after modifying it, will have to be re-compiled. This process should take a day at the most. The modified EMS software will then be used to generate the updated PCOS configuration file for each clustered precinct, store each precinct specific PCOS configuration file in 92,500 SD cards for each of the 92,500 PCOS machines, which are still in the warehouse in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

The process of replacing the SD cards will also involve moving the packed PCOS from storage to production area and back. This requires sufficient number of personnel.

Again the question - is it doable with some 55 days left before the scheduled polls. (With Lito Averia-shared data)

To SS originator, duped as he was in 2013 through HOCUS PCOS, the best recourse is MANUAL COUNTING.

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Here’s another flip-plop by Comelec. Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said, the elections may still be held as scheduled on May 9 even if the Supreme Court (SC) will deny its motion for reconsideration (MR) seeking a reversal of its ruling on the issuance of voting receipts.

Bautista said that if the vote counting machines (VCMs) will no longer need a new trusted build, then the elections will not be delayed.

The Comelec chief said Smartmatic Corp. informed them that a new trusted build is needed but they have yet to wait for the advice of the Comelec Advisory Council before making a decision.

Now, look at these - The source code is provided by Smartmatic. It is a voting software program customized for Philippine elections that would be installed in the VCMs.

And the Comelec has signed a P35 million contract with a Denver-based company for the review of the source code.

P35 million. Yet incompatible with the safety features!

Read back, “Customized for Philippine elections!”

Customized, yes for Philippine elections! Customized for cheating, we surmise. Don’t you?

* * * *

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. cries foul, accusing President Benigno Aquino 3rd of masterminding a hate campaign against him and his family in a bid to derail his vice presidential goal.

Marcos said, such was the main content of his speech in the EDSA 1 30th anniversary last February 25 and was repeated during the graduation ceremony of the Philippine Military Academy last week.

They will do it repeatedly, discounting no event, moment or occasion, he rued.

On Monday night, he urged political leaders to set aside political colors for the good of the country, decrying that past administrations were not able to unite Filipinos, but sowed divisiveness instead

Leaders pit us against each other, causing stagnancy in progress.

* * * *

Independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe retained her lead in the latest Pulse Asia survey commissioned by ABS-CBN, while Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte dislodged Vice President Jejomar Binay at second place. Mar Roxas and Binay are now on equal footing at 3rd.

Meanwhile, Pulse Asia said Sen. Francis Escudero and Ferdinand Marcos Jr. remained statistically tied for the top spot in the vice-presidential race. And Leni Rodredo is inching her closer to the two. The others lag way behind.