In this connection, the testimonies of the DOST resource persons given during the 27 July 2006 hearing are worth quoting, thus:I suppose we must take into account the fact that Sec. Alabastro, with no disrespect intended, is actually trained as a Chemical Engineer and not a computer professional. So we may excuse the INANITY of this last statement when one considers the simple fact that the OPTICAL MARK READERS employed by the ACM hardware supplied by MPC, rely on SOFTWARE to work.
Q Ma’am what software was used by Mega Pacific during this testing?
SECRETARY E. ALABASTRO
A As I understand, it is some kind of a generic software. That’s why, a software will still have to be developed that is customized to the Philippine setting, to the Philippine election requirements and that was supposed to have been tested in January of 2004. It’s unfortunate, we did not proceed because of the Supreme Court ruling.
Q So, at that point, when you tested it was only a generic software. Was there a requirement that there’ll be a final software present or made available to DOST for testing at that time? April 1 to April 3, 2003?
A It was just the generic software, Your Honor and . . .
Q And in your experience Ma’am, would a generic software be sufficient at that time, to determine whether the machines would work as per requirement set out by the procuring party?
A Well, just the capacity of the machine, I guess to perform using this particular generic software. Anyway, it was the hardware that was being tested.
Moreover, take a look at one of the Key Requirements that MPC failed (#20) as quoted in the Supreme Court Decision:
20. Is the Program able to detect previously downloaded precinct results and prevent these from being inputted again into the System?That's NOT hardware you were supposed to be testing in Requirement No. 20, M'am! What's that funny sound the Sassy Lawyer makes sometimes in these situations? Oh yeah. DUH!
But the Ombudsman CANNOT be excused for insulting at least the intelligence of the average reader of Philippine Commentary -- though it remains to be seen if such average will be maintained in the ranks of the Justices of the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice, Artemio Panganiban, certainly has the mental apparatus and specific knowledge to understand how UTTERLY RISIBLE that statement put in the mouth of Sec. Alabastro by a clever Ombudslawyer, actually is. How inane it is! The 27 requirements of the RFP were clearly SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS, with hardware and software virtually indistinguishable.
It was however, very important for the Ombudsman to try and obscure the clear pattern of bad faith, partiality and negligence that accompanied the award of contract. Thus the need to make a clearly amateurishly wrong and quaintly naive proposition about the true relationship between HARDWARE and SOFTWARE in the real world.
Instead, she has only succeeded in revealing the patterns of criminal graft and corruption to the observant by an inadvertent presentation of even cherry-picked testimonies.