Is Comelec hacking for real?

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said it would release before the end of the week its findings on the reported hacking of its servers, which had raised concerns about the integrity of the May elections among lawmakers and several presidential candidates who called for an urgent investigation.

Malacañang also is troubled by the reported hacking just four months before Filipinos head to the polls to elect a new president, acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said on Tuesday.

“Obviously we are also worried about this if this is true,” he said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, standard-bearer of Partido Reporma, urged Comelec to be “forthright” in reporting its findings.

“Only through transparency and accountability can we guarantee the integrity of the upcoming elections,” he said.

The Manila Bulletin reported on Monday that its Technews team received a tip from a “source” about the hacking last Saturday and discovered that the hackers downloaded more than 60 gigabytes of data which “could possibly affect the May 2022 elections.”


The stolen data included usernames and PINs (personal identification numbers) of vote-counting machines (VCMs). The Bulletin said that it immediately informed Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez about the alleged hacking.

“When you say that there is a data breach in Comelec, people would of course be alarmed. That’s why it’s important for us to validate this report,” Jimenez said in a radio interview on Tuesday.

But he warned that “someone should be held accountable” if the report was proven wrong.

In a statement on Monday night, the Comelec questioned parts of the Bulletin report, particularly the downloaded usernames and PINs of the VCMs.

“The fact, however, is that such information still does not exist in Comelec systems simply because the configuration files—which includes usernames and PINs — have not yet been completed,” Comelec said. “This calls into question the veracity of the hacking claim.”

3rd party audit

Presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao wants a congressional oversight investigation of the alleged hacking and that political parties be allowed…