Group to file another disqualification case against Smartmatic
An independent group is seeking the disqualification of Smartmatic Total Information Management Corp., the top bidder for the refurbishment of counting machines for the 2016 national elections.
Maricor Akol, co-convenor of TransparentElections.org, said the group would file a petition in the Supreme Court for the disqualification of Smartmatic in the biddings of the Commission on Elections.
“We have some papers that will disqualify them,” Akol said in an interview, adding the group would meet on Friday and file the case most likely on Monday.
Akol is also the representative of Automated Election System (AES) Watch which is pushing for a combination of manual and automated or hybrid system of elections next year.
In a hearing on Thursday, Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said the Comelec did not recommend using the proposed hybrid system—the Precinct Automated Tallying System (Patas)—since it cost more, was time-consuming and provided opportunities for electoral fraud.
“We recommend not to use Patas system,” Bautista said. “It will provide a lot of opportunities for tampering of ballot.”
In March, the SC issued a temporary restraining order on the controversial P269-million contract of Smartmatic for the refurbishment of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines it supplied the government for the 2010 and 2013 elections.
Smartmatic filed a protest and appealed its disqualification before the Comelec en banc.
The Comelec opened a new bidding on June 29 wherein Smartmatic was the sole bidder that showed interest in supplying and refurbishing counting machines for the 2016 elections. Arianne F. Merez
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