MANILA, Philippines — National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. yesterday disclosed that there were over 20,000 attempts to hack the May 2022 automated elections system.
“But they failed to do it because our automated election system is efficient,” Esperon said in Filipino.
Esperon, also chair of the national cyber-security inter-agency committee, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and other agencies deserve praise for successfully preventing the hacking of the system.
He said the Comelec, in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and other government agencies did a good job.
“The transmission of votes was very fast. Local officials have been proclaimed. People in the municipal and provincial levels believe in the elections, why won’t we believe in the national level?” he stressed, referring to some sectors reportedly refusing to accept the results of the presidential and vice presidential elections.
Esperon said all the remaining doubts would hopefully be erased by the procedures set in place, including the manual count being conducted by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the canvassing that would be done by Congress.
He said the PPCRV so far said there are no major breakdowns in their manual count machines and those questioning the results appear to be simply surprised by the speed and efficiency of the transmission and counting of votes.
First complaint on fake news
Meanwhile, the Comelec’s Task Force Kontra Fake News will file its first complaint against purveyors of fake news.
Commissioner George Garcia yesterday said the task force and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are preparing to file a case against those spreading fake news.
“The NBI has been asking us when would we file the formal complaint, against those who have been saying the elections are already over,” said Garcia. These bogus posts came out even before the May 9 polls.
But the Comelec has not been able to attend to the request of the NBI because they were preoccupied with the elections.
“We have already prepared the complaint and we will now secure authority from the Commission en banc on who would be the signatory of our complaint – will it be the director of the Law Department, will it be me as chair of the Task Force Kontra Fake News or will it be some other person. But we are finished with the complaint, we will just have to attach the video and other evidence,” said Garcia. – Evelyn Macairan