Miru called out for skipping hearing on new automated poll system

Miru called out for skipping hearing on new automated poll system

/ 03:29 PM March 12, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers from the House of Representatives called out Miru Systems Co. Ltd., the firm tapped by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the 2025 midterm polls, as none of the firm’s representatives attended the Tuesday hearing on their system.

Rizal 2nd District Rep. Emigdio Tanjuatco III, Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, and Sorsogon 2nd District Rep. Wowo Fortes expressed disappointment that Miru Systems officials did not attend just because the demonstration of the machines did not continue.

According to Tanjuatco, while the committee has allowed Comelec Chairperson George Garcia to skip hearings due to his busy schedule, the same cannot be said for the South Korean polling firm.


“We’re talking about the integrity of the elections next year.  Now, what will be the use of this hearing — even if we say that the Comelec will provide a presentation — if we members of the committee would want to ask questions about the system itself, and I think the proper individuals who can answer these questions are [with] Miru, the provider?  Again, I don’t know why there is no sense of urgency on the part of the contractor or the provider to attend these hearings,” Tanjuatco said.


“Okay, assuming that Chairman Garcia of the Comelec has a very hectic and busy schedule, that does not mean that Miru also has a hectic and busy schedule to dispense with the demonstration with the House of Representatives today,” he added.

Tanjuatco said that while Comelec’s presentations would give them insight into the preparations for the 2025 midterm elections, they would have preferred that Miru be present to show the machines and assure the panel that the integrity of the next polls would be intact.

“Again, with all due respect to the Comelec, your presentation will provide us an insight and probably bits of information but that does not — it goes against the heart of the matter, which is the integrity and truthfulness of the counting machines that will be used for next year’s elections, Mr. Chair,” he added.

Rodriguez then highlighted that Miru Systems’ problems have been well-documented, noting that the group’s representatives should answer lawmakers’ queries.

“I agree with Congressman Tanjuatco, that the 2025 elections should really be — we’re assured by the Comelec and the contractor that it will be flawless, that it will bring about the real results of the people’s will.  And that is why they should be here to be able to demonstrate, to hear their sides, because Mr. Chairman, we have been reading in all accounts and all papers about the problems of Miru,” he said.

“We are all concerned that there may be a possibility of failure of election, Mr. Chairman, because of what happened.  That’s why I would have been asking them, number one, what happened in Congo?  It’s in the papers, everybody, the watchdogs, the Namfrel, all concerned organizations have brought this out,” he added.


Rodriguez was referring to the problems Miru Systems supposedly encountered in Congo, where 45 percent of polling stations allegedly encountered difficulties, and in Iraq, where a staggering 70 percent of voting stations hit problems forcing the country to revert to a manual count.

On Monday, Comelec finally signed a P17.99 billion deal with Miru Systems for the Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count (Fastrac), after the South Korean firm was left as the lone bidder for some time.

However, Castro, in a statement earlier, called for a probe on the deal, noting that the incidents in Congo and Iraq reveal “alarming technical glitches, malfunctioning hardware, and software errors that resulted in inaccurate vote counts and delays in reporting election results.”

READ: House scrutiny of Comelec-South Korea firm poll deal sought

Previously, Comelec Chairperson Garcia said that the poll body’s Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) was aware of the concerns about Miru Systems, but still recommended the awarding of the contract because Comelec was able to receive “certifications from the electoral commission of Congo and the UN (United Nations) for [the elections in] Iraq.”

But aside from the issues hounding the elections in Congo and Iraq, Castro also questioned why Miru Systems was left as the lone bidder for the automated elections.

During the bidding process headed by Comelec’s SBAC, it was announced that the following six companies bought bidding documents:

  • Dominion Voting Systems
  • Indra Philippines Incorporated
  • AMA Group Holdings Corporation
  • Electiontech Consultant and Management, Incorporated
  • SMMT-TIM 2016, Incorporated
  • Miru Systems Company Limited

However, only the joint venture of Miru Systems submitted the documents.

READ: SoKor firm still sole bidder in Comelec’s 2025 automated system

Other concerns have been raised about Miru Systems’ capability to provide the automated election system. In a previous hearing by the panel, former Caloocan lawmaker and Aksyon Demokratiko representative Edgar Erice warned that Miru would be using a prototype — a system not yet used in any of the elections it handled.

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Erice said doing so may be a violation of Republic Act No. 9369 or the Election Automation Law of 2007.

TAGS: 2025 elections, automated system, Korean firm

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