Comelec stands by NPO despite Smartmatic allegation



MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday vouched for the integrity of the ballots printed by the National Printing Office (NPO) after Smartmatic, which provides the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for the 2013 automated midterm elections, claimed that the machines rejected 40 percent of the test ballots printed by the NPO during an initial test.

Smartmatic, which provides the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for the 2013 automated midterm elections, said that the machines rejected 40 percent of the test ballots printed by the National Printing Office (NPO) during an initial test.

NPO Director Emmanuel Andaya, however, said that they did a second test upon orders of the Comelec and that 100 percent of the test ballots passed without a hitch.

NPO has a joint venture with Holy Family Printing to print all 55 million ballots for next year’s elections. The first of the three printing machines are already being assembled in their office.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez told reporters on Friday that Smartmatic was probably just sore at losing the contract to NPO.

He said they did not see any problems with the NPO doing the printing and that they would take action only if they felt the elections would be put at risk.

“We should not be spooked by the accusations of a losing bidder,” Jimenez said.

“If the Comelec feels that the elections would be put at risk because of the printing of the ballot, it will not hesitate to step in,” he added.

There was no reason yet to act just on the accusations of Smartmatic, Jimenez said.

He also assured the public that the Comelec has people in the NPO observing the printing to ensure it complies with the requirements of the Comelec.

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  • Edward

    to pdi: check ur headline. npo and not nso…

  • Mang Teban a s s but not so fast, Comelec is quick to detect motive of the gripe – sour graping.

    I know there was something true about what the should-have-been Comelec commissioner said and who protested against the Smartmatic..remember the glitches in the PCOS machines last time? Now, we are stuck with this griping monopolist. Can we change the supplier after next year’s elections?

    I suppose that we save more money by utilizing the NPO. Maybe, Comelec should ask Congress to modernize the National Printing Office so that it does not have to outsource printing of ballots with a private supplier. The integrity of the printed ballots comes from the integrity of the people in the Comelec. Cheers to the hardworking and dedicated personnel of the Comelec!

  • RyanE

    Hmm.. It seems Smartmatic is showing its greediness.. it’s not contented to have supplied the PCOS machines worth billions of pesos but still wants more, to also supply the ballots.

  • Klein Mo

    bakit NSO ang nsa title?

    • marionics

      kasi sloppy ang pdi on-line talaga atsaka ang sagwa ng mga writing kung minsan

  • Arce

    Hahaha kung alam niyo lang…..tailor made ang bidding kay Holy-Holy Family. Lalong bumango lang ang pangalan dahil kasama si Canon…..

    Kaya NPO at hindi Comelec ang humawak ng printing bidding para hindi mainit sa mata ang prosesong ginawa nila….na talagang unholy hehehe….

    Tuloy, nalaman nalang ng press nung natapos ang biddingan…ayos diba? Lumabas ngang sour graping….


  • Cal_Reznick

    The company that provided the machines that will read the ballot is giving a warning to the Comelec that there may be something wrong with the scanning of ballots and instead of taking this warning seriously and tripling checking the process and procedure, the Comelec chooses to neglect the warning and say that Smartmatic is just being bitter somehow??

    There seems to be something wrong with this.

    I sure do hope nothing shady is going on here because if the provider were to give a disclaimer warning on their product, if should be heeded and seriously listened to.

    This machines are very important for the elections…the Administration should step in and check on this at the very least.

  • Cal_Reznick

    Administration please check these PCOS machines and the process in which ballots will be scanned. With all the other things that the President seems to be busy with that are considered pointless by many, this is actually very important for the Philippines.

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