The Daily Manila Shimbun


Justice department recommends indictment of Comelec and Smartmatic officials

June 7, 2017

The Department of Justice has recommended the criminal indictment of officials of the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic for violating provisions of the Cybercrime Prevention Act. In a 41-page resolution issued on June 5 but obtained Wednesday, Justice Undersecretary  Deo L. Marco, signing for Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, found probable cause to charge Smartmatic personnel Marlon Garcia, head of the technical support team and his subordinates Neil Baniqued and Mauricio Herrera as well as Comelec Information Technology experts Rouie Peñalba, Nelson Herrera and Frances Mae Gonzales. Section 4 (a)(1) of R.A. 10175 penalizes the access of a computer system without any authority while Section 3 penalizes the intentional and reckless altering of computer data.  Section 4 penalizes the act of hindering or interfering with the functions of a computer and computer network by inputting, deleting and altering computer data and programs, without any right or authority. The justice department exonerated Smartmatic Project Director Elie Moreno for lack of evidence. The case arose from alleged unauthorized alteration of the script of the transparency server during the canvassing of votes during the May 9, 2016 national and local elections. Aguirre overturned the September 28, 2016 resolution issued by the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila, which dismissed the case that was initiated by former Abakada Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz. Marcos filed an election protest on June 29, 2016. Leni Robredo won the vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos who got 14,155,344 votes. DMS