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Comelec deposits automated poll system’s source codes inside BSP vault

The source codes for the country’s automated election system (AES) have been deposited at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Wednesday.

Commission on Elections Executive Director Bartolome Sinocruz and Atty. John Rex Laudiangco, director of the poll body’s Law Department, handed over the two security boxes to the central bank representatives in a ceremony held at the BSP complex in Pasay City.

The official turnover is part of the escrow agreement which was signed by officials of the Comelec and the BSP last Monday.

Sinocruz, Laudiangco were accompanied by BSP Managing Director Rosabel Guerrero, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, representatives from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, and select media personnel in depositing the source codes inside the BSP vault.

“Now, we will witness the actual turnover and deposit of the source code for the 2022 national and local elections. It shall be kept in escrow with the BSP as mandated by the automation law,” Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo, who attended the ceremony virtually, said in his opening speech.

“So, this is not only in compliance with the automation law, but also to secure our source code in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas so as to ensure to the public that our elections this coming 2022 national and local elections will be clean, honest and credible one,” he added.

Casquejo is the head of the Comelec steering committee for the 2022 national and local elections.

Further, Jimenez assured the public that the integrity of the elections will be protected amid the ongoing feud among outgoing and sitting poll commissioners.

“The Comelec is very much aware of the current concerns about the credibility of the elections, the integrity of the elections... The source code really is the heart and soul of the automated election system and the fact that we have the source code here where it is protected from all dangers, gives us certainty that the source code that we will be using on the election day is trustworthy,” Jimenez said.

For BSP’s part, Guerrero assured the public that only Comelec officials could open the vault which contains the flash drives for the source codes.

“That particular compartment where the AES source codes are stored can be opened only by Comelec and it would be the executive director who has that key, the key that’s for the dual padlock, the key to that and then you have the combination lock which is under the sole responsibility of the Comelec,” Guerrero said.

“So the BSP cannot have access to that. We don’t know that combination… So that would ensure the integrity of the source codes. Nobody can open that and have access to that, except the Comelec and that’s guaranteed by the BSP. So once you have that, the source codes are secured,” she added. — RSJ, GMA News