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‘Meet-me-room’ part of local source code review – Comelec spokesman

MANILA – The Commission on Elections clarified Thursday that all political parties were informed about the use of a “meet-me-room” that received transmissions of the vote-counting machines before being sent to the Comelec transparency server. 

Speaking to radio DZMM, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the use of a “meet-me-room” or queue server was taken up by an oversight committee and was part of a local source code review before the May 13 elections. 

“That arrangement was part of the local source code review. Political parties also sent their own representatives including the [Joint Congressional Oversight Committee] on the Automated Election System,” he told radio DZMM. 

He said local source code reviewers were confident about the security of the automated system after reviewing 11 different source codes to be used in the elections. 

Several sectors have called for an investigation on various irregularities during the May 13 elections including malfunctioning SD cards and vote-counting machines as well as a seven-hour gap on the first two transmissions of the poll results. 

The seven-hour gap boosted the figures of the midterm poll tallies from .4 to 90 percent completion. 

Jimenez has said the glitch was caused by a problem with the application that pushes the data from the transparency server to the different media outlets.

He said media representatives and political watchers were allowed to examine how administrators worked on troubleshooting the problem Monday. 

Nelson Celis, spokesperson of Automated Election System Watch, earlier claimed the “meet-me rooms” allegedly host undeclared servers and intercept data from the vote counting machines to the Commission on Election servers.

He said such “meet-me rooms” are against the Omnibus Election Code.

“In the Omnibus Election Code, sa manual elections natin, the ballot box goes directly to the municipal board of canvassing. Here, may intervention, iyong queuing server. It’s not following the omnibus election law,” he said.

“Even if there’s a plausible explanation, that’s still irregular because it doesn’t follow the law. The VCMs should be directly sending election returns to the municipal board of canvassers,” Celis added. 

For his part, election lawyer George Garcia said Comelec should explain further the use of a “meet me room” since it could cast doubt about the transparency of the elections.