The emerging Comelec story seems to be: the PCOS machines are accurate because the “root cause” is not the software or hardware but human error. If there is a difference between the ER as sent to the Comelec server and the random manual audit, it is human error on the part of the humans in the audit team. Or, the BEI used the wrong CF cards, or didn’t use the right I-button. (Pretty soon, a new root cause may come up: the dog ate the CF card and then dumped it in the junk yard! Just kidding.)
As against the above is an error rate analysis done by an IT expert. This suggests that the PCOS machines didn’t meet the contractual obligations of Smartmatic-TIM.
It seems the only way to settle the problem for controversial cases, regardless of how many they are, is to do a manual audit. That shouldn’t take too long, unless Comelec remains within its “traditional” ways of taking up to almost three years to do a manual recount.
As far as I can see, there is nothing in the Automation Laws that bars a manual recount just because there was a random manual audit. A judge can so order, and he should do so with a deadline for Comelec to meet. Otherwise, it’s still the same old stories. (Play it, Sam..)