The camp of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday blamed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Bureau of Immigration for the “escape” of a Smartmatic emgineer facing criminal charges in connection with the May 9 elections. The Marcos camp had asked the Comelec to ask the Immigration bureau to issue a hold departure order (HDO) against all personnel of Smartmatic accused of violating the Cybercrime Law but the request was not granted. Smartmatic is the technology provider to last month’s local and national polls. The respondents were charged for their alleged involvement in unauthorized alteration of the script of the transparency server at the height of the transmission of votes just hours after voting closed.
At the preliminary investigation of the case on Friday at the Manila Prosecutor’s Office, it was revealed that Smartmatic employee Mauricio Herrera had left the country and is now in his home country of Panama.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon had pushed for the issuance of an HDO against the respondents but Smartmatic said such action is unnecessary.
“Yun ang hindi natin maintindihan kaya yun ang dapat ipapaliwanag nila [That is what we do not understand, and it is what they must explain],” said Abakada party list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, Marcos political adviser and one of the complainants.
De la Cruz said until now, neither the Comelec nor the Bureau of Immigration had acted on their request for a hold departure order or for the respondents to be included in the watch list of the bureau.