Smartmatic Inc., the service provider for the 2022 automated elections, has confirmed that a "data leak" occurred in its system, but it was unrelated to the polls, Commission on Elections chairperson Saidamen Pangarungan said Friday.
During a signing ceremony, Pangarungan said that Smartmatic has also imposed disciplinary action against the employee supposedly involved in the incident.
“Smartmatic informed us that they have meted the appropriate disciplinary action against that employee of theirs,” Pangarungan said.
“They emphasized to us that the data leak does not have anything to do with the elections in 2022. What was leaked were data concerning their internal organization and activities,” he added.
From his understanding, Pangarungan said the employee has been removed from work.
Smartmatic assured the Comelec that the security of the ballots and configured SD cards are not compromised by the internal data leak, according the poll body chief.
Pangarungan said the Comelec will wait first for the official report of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the reported data breach before issuing its decision regarding the incident.
“Although, alam ng Smartmatic that we studied all possible courses of action that the Comelec will take against them if ever. So antayin na lang natin yung report ng NBI kasi yun ang magiging official na basehan ng action ng Comelec,” he said.
(Smartmatic is aware that we studied all possible courses of action that the Comelec will take against them if ever. So, we have to wait for the NBI report because that would be the official basis of Comelec’s action.)
The newly-appointed Comelec chief assured the public that could be confident with the results of the elections despite the security concerns over the 2022 national and local elections.
"I want to assure everyone, you read my lips, we will not allow anyone to undermine the people's confidence in our electoral system. That is our pledge," Pangarungan said.
Earlier, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said a Smartmatic employee involved in the alleged security breach in its system is now under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
On March 24, Comelec said it will review its contract with Smartmatic, Inc. after the reported security breach on the system of the service provider for the 2022 elections. —GMA News