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Comelec chief: Source code negotiations hit a snag anew

The negotiations for the release of source code hit a snag anew, Commission on Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Wednesday.
“Patapos na kami. 50-50 pa rin. Naging 50-50 na ngayon, nagkaroon na naman ng bagong issue,” Brillantes told reporters when asked for update on the negotiations with warring technology suppliers Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems.
He refused to say what was the problem this time or what caused the delay.
”Hindi ko sasabihin, makakaapekto e. Hayaan nyo na muna matatapos rin,” the poll chairman said.
Brillantes said he gave the two parties until Friday as their final deadline on the source code.
“I gave them already a final deadline of Friday. Maga-announce na ako. Kako pagod na ako, tinatanong ako palagi,” he said.
The source code is in the custody of international certifier SLI Global Solutions Inc in Denver, USA. SLI will not release the source code without the consent of Dominion which is asking Smartmatic $10 million for the alleged use of its technology.
Brillantes wanted to get the source code so it could be reviewed by political parties and interested groups.
Section 11 of Republic Act 9369 or the Automated Election Law states that three months before elections, there should be a “successful completion of a source code review; a certification that the source code is kept in escrow with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; and a certification that the source code reviewed is one and the same as that used by the equipment.”
The poll chief, however, said the automated elections will run even without the source code as they already have the binaries and the Smartmatic promised to provide a copy of the source code.
In the May 2010 elections, the source code was not reviewed.
The Comelec, then headed by chairman Jose Melo, deposited the source code with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for safekeeping.
The source code was certified then by international software testing company SysTest Labs, now SLI Global Solutions Inc., in their facility in Colorado, USA for P75 million. The source code was brought to the country on Feb. 1, 2010 and formally turned over to the Comelec. — Amita Legaspi/RSJ, GMA News