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Comelec won’t probe UNA's allegations of data tampering

(Updated 1:18 p.m.) The Commission on Election on Thursday night revealed that it would not investigate allegations made by the United Nationalist Alliance regarding the manipulation of votes purportedly by Smartmatic personnel.

Manila broadsheet The Daily Tribune reported that a certain Daton Cerino of Smartmatic was manipulating data and tampering with election results in the transparency server at the Pope Pius Center, where the parties, organizations and media outlets gather election results.

An information technology expert from UNA supposedly caught Cerino deleting data files, the report said.

However, since Comelec junked UNA’s motion to defer the proclamation of senatorial candidates, even with the allegations of misconduct contained in the motion, the poll body noted that it would not probe the allegation.

“Their allegations were essentially debunked,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told GMA News Online via text on Thursday night.

For his part, UNA spokesperson Toby Tiangco said they would invite Comelec for a “friendly dialogue” regarding the incident.

“After reading [the resolution] then maybe we can have a friendly dialogue,” Tiangco told reporters at a press conference Friday noon.

“I understand Comelec. They are under pressure. The election has taken a toll on all of them… we are asking for reasonable thing. Hindi muna sila iistorbohin,” he added.

Representatives of Smartmatic could not be reached for comment as of posting time.

Meanwhile, the Comelec proclaimed six winning senatorial bets including former MTRCB chairperson Grace Poe; re-electionist senators Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, and Alan Peter Cayetano; Nancy Binay; and Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara.

Only Binay was not present during the proclamation but her lawyer, Donna Camitan, represented her.

Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said Binay's absence was related to UNA's denied petition. — DVM/HS/KBK, GMA News