Comelec: President seems to like automated polls, not Smartmatic
MANILA, Philippines — The President’s statement on replacing the country’s provider of vote counting machines (VCMs) may have been a criticism on the recently concluded elections, but it does not mean that he disapproves of the poll’s automated system.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez said this on Friday after President Rodrigo Duterte urged the poll body to get rid of the country’s current VCM provider, Smartmatic.
“Is it a critique? Inevitably yes…If you look at all of the quotes from that particular speech, you will see that he was responding directly to a citizen’s sentiment. If the sentiment of the citizen expressed was in that direction, saying that they’re not satisfied with the elections because they feel like there’s fraud, then that could be where the President is coming from,” Jimenez said in a media forum at the National Press Club in Manila.
“Pero sa tinging ko ang take-away dito talaga e yung Presidente, e gusto niya automated pa rin, ibang supplier siguro ang gusto niya. Malinaw naman siguro sa sinabi niya yon, pero malinaw rin na hindi niya tinatakwil ang ating automated system kundi lamang yung supplier. So marami tayong kailangang pag-aralan dun sa statement ni Presidente,” he added.
Last May 13, the poll body said that around 400 VCMs encountered technical problems on election day.
Jimenez said then that the VCMs that malfunctioned during the May 13 polls were the same machines used during the previous election.
It can be recalled that in 2016, 188 VCMs out of 92,509 VCMs were replaced across the country. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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