For Senator Grace Poe, it is hardly possible for Philippine President Rodrigo to be involved in the alleged irregularities during the 2016 elections.
Poe, who also ran in the previous presidential elections expressed belief that there is no way Duterte could have manipulated the poll results—especially with the public’s clear overwhelming support to him.
Poe made the assertion on Tuesday, March 6, after Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III bared “irregularities” that supposedly altered the results of the previous elections.
“I’d also like to make a point here that I definitely lost the elections,” Poe said. “I know that for sure because of the overwhelming gap in the support the president had.”
She added, “I also believe that since the president did not belong to the ruling coalition at that time time, he really had no means to manipulate the results of the elections.”
But despite having a “clear winner” in the presidential race, Poe remarked that “other positions should not be looked into especially when the fight is very close.”
She went on to say, “I think that is a worthy concern that we need to investigate further not just in the ranking in the senatorial slate but also to be able to prevent this from happening again in the future.”
Sotto earlier presented data—which he supposedly acquired from a “concerned and impeccably reliable” source—showing the alleged “irregularities” that “altered” the 2016 poll results.
“What I am about to present to you may or may not be gospel truth but very accurate information and if these allegations are serious enough and are proven to be true after due investigation, then we have a case of electoral sabotage for the conduct of the 2016 elections,” he said in a privilege speech.
Sotto cited two alleged irregularities in the last elections: early transmission of votes and foreign access to election servers.
On the alleged early transmission of vote, Sotto claimed that there was a “transmission activity” on May 8, 2016 until the following morning of May 9—which was still prior to the official conduct of the election.
He noted that the Board of Canvassers should have convened starting at 3 p.m. of May 9, 2016.
“In summary, there has been an alleged early transmission of votes by certain VCMs (voting counting machines) to the Municipal Board of Canvassers. These are only examples of the numerous early transmissions to different Municipal and Provincial Board of Canvassers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” Sotto said.
He further pointed out: “The standard answer of Smartmatic would be that these transmissions are only ‘testing transmissions.’ These transmissions cannot be in any way be claimed as ‘testing transmissions’ because as far as I can remember, the last official testing was made on April, 23, 2016.”
Sotto also claimed he and Poe were among those who received zero votes during the early transmissions.
On the allegation of foreign access to election servers, Sotto stated that there were “series of access before, during and after the election.”
The senator claimed that “our election servers were allegedly accessed remotely and information gathered were copied and submitted to a server in the amazon cloud services in the United States.”
According him, a username “e360sync” allegedly made a “critical intrusion to a computer system” a day before the May 9, 2016 elections.
He noted that e360 “is a server in amazonaws.com which is a cloud computing service located mainly in the United States,” and likewise “looks very similar to a software product of the Philippine election provider ‘Smartmatic.’”
“To conclude the second issue, our election servers were allegedly accessed remotely and information gathered were copied and submitted to a server in the amazon cloud services in the United States,” Sotto said.
Sotto called on the Senate to conduct a probe into his allegations, which he said could be considered a “case of electoral sabotage” if proven true.