MANILA, Philippines—Four months before the May 2013 elections, a disqualified bidder questioned before the Supreme Court the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) decision awarding the compact flash (CF) contract to Smartmatic which will be used in the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
In a 13-page petition, LDLA Marketing urged the high court to issue a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the contract. At the same time, it also asked the high court to compel the Comelec to nullify Resolution No. 9600 and award to them the contract for the supply of CF cards.
The Comelec Resolution 9600 dated Dec. 27, 2012 is the awarding of the contract to Smartmatic.
Petitioner said the resolution was issued with “grave abuse of discretion.”
“The instant case is a brazen award of a government contract without passing through a fair and open public bidding, as required by law. With the haste of Respondent Comelec to award the procurement contract…[it] has sadly failed its duty to the Republic to credibly and legally conduct elections through the due enforcement of all laws and regulations regarding the conduct of elections, plebiscite, initiative, and referendum,” the petition stated.
LDLA said their disqualification came as a surprise considering that it previously supplied Smartmatic with 20,000 CF cards for the May 2010 elections.
LDLA said its bid was never opened. If the Comelec did, LDLA said, the government would have saved P100 million.
“Had it been otherwise, Petitioner’s bid would have been the lowest responsive bid for all items, except for thermal paper. Too, Petitioner would have been the sole bidder for the CF Cards. Moreover, the acceptance of Petitioner’s bid would have saved the government over One Hundred Million Pesos,” the petitioner said.
Smartmatic got the contract for transmission modems as the sole bidder, while it got the contracts for transmission services and the CF cards through negotiated contracts after failed biddings.