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The Commission on Elections’ recently published rules on groups that are eligible to conduct source code review for the upcoming May 2013 polls were “to protect everyone” and to avoid possible undermining of the elections, a poll official said.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the qualifications of, and limitations on groups allowed and prohibited to do the review were done for greater efficiency and for everyone’s safety.
“So what all we did here was to make sure only legitimate reviewers are allowed to review, that they have a demonstrable interest and basically this is to protect everyone din,” he said.
In a resolution dated March 1, the Comelec issued the rules for groups who are qualified to review the source codes, which are human readable instructions or software.
According to the resolution, eligible political parties or groups that can conduct a source code review must be:
- Political, sectoral, or coalition of parties registered and/or accredited by the Comelec
- Independent candidates running for a nationwide national position
- Any legitimate organization or group accredited by the Comelec, including its accredited citizens’ arms, which possess the technical capability and expertise in conducting the source code review.
On the other hand, the following groups cannot participate in the source code review:
- Any religious sect or denomination, organization, or association, organized for religious purposes
- Any foreign party or organization
- Any group or organization that is receiving money or other forms of financial support from any foreign government, political party, foundation or organization, whether directly or through any of its officers or members, or indirectly through third parties.
According to Jimenez, the credibility of the May 2013 polls could possibly be compromised if the rules for the source code review did not have limitations.
“If you give the code to people who are not qualified, to look at the code or who are just out to find something they don’t understand and say that it’s wrong, then you’ll have an effect where the credibility of the elections can be undermined, simply because of someone’s uninformed opinion,” he said.
“And that’s very dangerous for the rest of us. So all this is is that it formalizes who are interested groups, it defines what your interest should be, and it sets certain standards for your ability to review the code,” he added. — Gian C. Geronimo/RSJ, GMA News