Comelec asked to explain alleged malicious transmissions the day before 2016 polls

Marje Pelayo   •   August 1, 2018   •   12234


PASAY CITY, Philippines – Questions remain unanswered on the alleged irregularities in the 2016 national elections during the Senate inquiry on Tuesday (July 31).

Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms said they were “frustrated” with the explanations of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the matter, especially the alleged transmission a day before the elections, supposedly “a quiet time.”

It was a concern earlier raised by Senate President Vicente Sotto III who claimed that a reliable source handed him confidential information regarding the activities that altered election results.

Based on the resolutions released by the Comelec, the final testing and sealing were conducted from May 2 to 6, but can be extended to May 9 if necessary. The transmission test was done on May 9, the day of elections.

But Sotto claimed that as early as May 8, there was already a transmission of data happening in Bicol areas.

Citing his source, it was done by an IP address which was of a clustered vote counting machine or precinct count optical scan (PCOS).

During the inquiry, Sotto asked the Comelec for the transmission logs from May 8 to May 9 but the poll body presented logs only on the day of the elections on May 9 and none on the day before.

Citing his source, whose legal counsel was Atty. Levito Baligod, Sotto believed such activity before the election day is highly irregular. Baligod affirmed the Senator’s claim.

 “There was a queue server used which was unauthorized and which was malicious,” Baligod, the counsel of a witness to the early transmission, said.

Former Biliran representative Glenn Chong, one of the resource speakers in the hearing alleging election fraud, claimed otherwise.

“Wala pong May 8. There was no transaction what so ever in May 8,” he said.

Credibility questioned

During the hearing, Chong’s credibility was questioned as he was being linked to the 2016 Vice Presidential Candidate Bongbong Marcos.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon cited two letters from Marcos’ legal counsel Atty. George Garcia where Chong was named as one of the Marcos’ camp’s representatives. Chong denied the claim.

Because of this, the senators grew more puzzled over the content and origin of the early data transmissions.

The Senate committee asked the poll body to submit written explanations on the said issue subject to further study on the alleged 2016 poll fraud. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo

Lacson, Sotto test negative for illegal drugs

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson and running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday (November 22) underwent voluntary drug testing at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office in Diliman, Quezon City, and tested negative for drug use, a statement from the Partido Reporma said.

Earlier in the day, Sotto said: “Magkaalaman na kung sino matatapang”.

The Lacson-Sotto tandem said their move was to show that they are drug-free and fit to run in the 2022 national and local elections.

Sotto earlier said that ordinary drug tests only determine “shabu” or  “marijuana” use.

However, the PDEA test that they took, he said, is a ‘’multi-drug one-step immunometric assay for the detection of drugs of abuse in urine.’’

In the statement, Lacson said he and Sotto took a multi-drug screening procedure, which is capable of detecting all types of illegal substances in a human body. They both tested negative for illegal drugs.

The tandem went through all the protocols from the signing up of forms to the submission of their urine samples where an attending physician monitored them closely to ensure the authenticity of the tests.

Last Friday, Lacson suggested Friday conducting a random drug test to candidates following President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on an unnamed presidential candidate who was into cocaine.

“I have never been addicted to drugs all my life, so I have no problem with that. In fact, we should all undergo random testing to make it more credible,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an ambush interview in General Santos City, Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go who is also running for president, reiterated that, although it is not mandatory, he is willing to undergo drug testing any time of the day.

“Ako naman po willing magpa-drug test anytime of the day. Anytime po kung kakailanganin,” Go said.

“Though hindi mandatory, pero just to prove lang po sa Pilipino kung sino yung fit na mamuno sa ating bansa ay willing po akong magpa-drug test, any time of the day po,” he added. —/mbmf

Lacson, Sotto officially launch tandem for presidential, VP posts

Maris Federez   •   September 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, on Wednesday, officially launched their tandem on their bid for the presidential and vice-presidential posts in the 2022 National Elections.

The pre-taped campaign launch was attended by few family members, friends, former co-workers, and supporters who were tested for the coronavirus before the event. Other supporters joined the tandem via teleconference and taped testimonies.

Sotto took the stage first to signify his intention to be the country’s second in command.

“Ang inyo pong lingkod ay naririto para harapin ang hamon sa tamang panahon na maging kandidato ninyo sa pagka-pangalawang pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas,” Sotto said.

After raising national issues, such as poor economy, rising COVID-19 cases, corruption, and poverty, Sotto said the Filipinos have had enough.

“Tama na! Kailangan na nating tumugon! Kailangan na nating umaksyon! Kailangan na natin magsanib pwersa upang mapigilan at maitama ang mali. Ito na ang simula,” he said.

In his own speech, Lacson mentioned how President Rodrigo Duterte admitted in his final State of the Nation Address “that he was wrong to think that leading the country is simple and easy as leading Davao City.”

“Walang debate sa katotohanan. Hindi natin dapat payagan ang maling akala para sa kinabukasan ng ating bansa,” Lacson said.

Lacson stressed that the challenges that await the next administration are no joking matter and that they should be addressed with honest, dedicated, and competent public service.

“Mayroon kaming sapat na kakayahan, katapatan, at katapangan upang pamunuan ang ating bansa at upang muling bumangon sa ating pagkakalugmok,” he said.

Lacson and Sotto said they are gunning for “leadership by example.”

“Hindi sa salita kundi sa gawa. No leader can succeed if he cannot practice what he preaches,” Lacson said.

Lacson said they are in the process of crafting their platform of government that they want to present to the people.

“As we speak, we are in the process of drawing up a roadmap or a master plan that will serve as our platform of government that we intend to present to our people. After all, sa takdang panahon, kayo ang magdedesisyon kung karapat-dapat ba kaming pagkatiwalaan na mamuno sa ating bayan,” he said. —/mbmf

Lacson still undecided on 2022 presidential bid

Marje Pelayo   •   June 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson is among those rumored to run in the presidential elections next year side by side with Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

Though Sotto confirmed he is considering the vice presidential race, his preferred presidential running mate is yet to decide on the matter.

Lacson said they are still weighing things as of the moment and the decision is not yet final.

The former police chief still has one term in the Senate but he is weighing two options regarding his career – to run for president or to retire from public service.

“Sabi ko sige, hindi ko muna isara yung pinto pero baka pwedeng magkonsulta tayo sa mga nakakaalam para i-measure natin yung ating kapasidad kung kaya ba nating tugunan yung naglalakihang problema ng bansa,” Lacson said.

“Kasi kung hindi rin lang natin kakayanin, bakit pa? Anong legacy pa ang ating gustong ialay? Sabi niya, ‘Gusto ko lang ipakita na kayang i-solve ang illegal drugs’,” Lacson said quoting his conversation with Sotto.

In case Lacson decides not to pursue a bid, he said his support remains with Sotto.

Lacson confirmed he was offered to run as nominee of the 1Sambayan Coalition.

But he is more likely to turn down the offer after a comment by retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on him being the principal sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Law in the Senate.

Carpio was among the petitioners of the law in the Supreme Court.

“Kasi sa akin, any self respecting person or individual, na-preclude ka na tapos ngayon iimbitahin ka. Meron naman siguro akong respeto sa sarili ko para, ‘ano pupunta pa ba ako sa inyo?” Lacson said of the offer.

“I am more inclined to decline than participate,” he added.

UNTV News has yet to receive a comment from the 1Sambayan on the issue.

In case he decides to run, Lacson said he is open to collaborating with other parties.

“I hope maging parehas ang laban pagdating sa social media platforms. Ngayon pa lang meron akong alam na isang high official sabihin na nating undersecretary na nag-oorganize na sa buong bansa bawat probinsya hinihingan na ng quota na mag-organize ng at least 2 trolls sa bawat probinsya,” he said.  MNP (with reports from Harlene Delgado)


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