By Leslie Ann Aquino
The deadline for the filing of requests to review the source code of the automated election system (AES) to be used in the May 2019 midterm polls has been extended.
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Spokesman James Jimenez said interested parties may still submit their requests to participate in the Local Source Code review until October 5.
“You have until October 5 to email your request to [email protected],” Jimenez said in a Facebook post.
The poll body originally set the deadline for the filing of requests September 28.
According to Jimenez, so far there are already 12 applications.
“We have 12 applicants so far, including two political parties, five individuals, while the rest are NGOs,” he said in an interview.
Republic Act No. 9369 states that the commission shall “promptly make the source code available and open to any interested party or group, which may conduct their own review”.
The source code review shall cover the Election Management System; Vote Counting Machine; Consolidated Canvassing System; and other related systems.
The activity shall also have two phases, namely the preliminary review of the source codes of the AES used in the 2016 polls with initial enhancements for the 2019 elections; and the review of the final version to be used on Election Day.
Based on COMELEC Resolution No. 10423, qualified to apply to review the source code are political parties or coalition of parties accredited with the COMELEC; citizens’ arm organizations of the poll body; recognized information technology (IT) groups; civil society organizations with election advocacies; and the would-be host academic institution.
Reviewers qualified to be designated by would-be accredited groups or parties must be knowledgeable in computer programming languages and systems, particularly C/C++, Java application development, Bash, Object Oriented Programming Language, Unix-like systems, and Linux operating system.
The source code is the human readable instructions that dictate what the automated election system will do.