Comelec set to decide on fate of Smartmatic soon
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is eyeing to come out soon with a decision whether it would allow longtime poll technology provider Smartmatic Corp. to join the public bidding for the procurement of new voting machines for the 2025 polls.
“The en banc is fully aware of the urgency of the matter since we are supposed to start with our procurement process already. We don’t want this issue to remain pending when we start the bidding,” said Comelec Chair George Garcia.
“We need to resolve this issue soon. We have committed that we will come up immediately with a resolution,” he added.
Garcia earlier said the en banc was expected to issue its resolution on the multiple petitions filed against Smartmatic Corp. for its failure to meet “minimum capabilities” that led to alleged irregularities in the transmission and receipt of votes in the May 2022 national elections.
A petition asking the poll body to declare Smartmatic ineligible to participate in the forthcoming public bidding for the 2025 automated election system (AES) was filed in June by former poll official Augusto Lagman, and former Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio, among others.
Smartmatic, however, said the petition was premature since the firm has yet to participate in the said bidding for the Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count project.