In an official statement, NAMFREL reiterated that “it does not support any specific political candidate or party as it remains non-partisan.”
The issue was raised because 1Sambayan’s API used an IP address with a hostname that says “namfrel” on it. See: https://archive.is/hqKNK
Not only that, when users go to the 1Sambayan’s 1Sama Ako API URL with port 1234, they would be redirected to “Vote for Us,” a Namfrel project for the upcoming elections. See: https://archive.is/H3yPs
The IP address in question was put offline hours after the story was published in the Manila Bulletin. The hostname was also changed; the word “namfrel” was now deleted in the hostname.
NAMFREL sharing with 1Sambayan a third-party server is not a technical issue. It is indeed expected that some organizations might have the same third-party developer, and it is also understandable on behalf of the developer to use a shared hosting machine to serve multiple sites for the sake of cost-efficiency. But making 1Sambayan’s API run live on production under a NAMFREL hostname and serving a NAMFREL project when you input a 1Sambayan web address is an issue if you claim to be independent and non-partisan.
Now that NAMFREL knows what caused the problem, we now wait and see their next move.
Here’s the official statement of NAMFREL: