Solons hit Comelec for not getting the side of Miru Systems’ foreign critics | Inquirer News

Solons hit Comelec for not getting the side of Miru Systems’ foreign critics

/ 04:47 PM March 12, 2024

The Department of Education (DepEd) once again faced questions as to why it opposes proposals to allow foreign ownership of basic education institutions, with Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez reminding the agency that they are an alter ego of the President.

Cagayan de Oro city 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez (File photo from his Facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker has criticized the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for failing to get the side of the critics of Miru Systems Co. Ltd. and only relying on certifications that the company is qualified to provide the automation system for the 2025 midterm polls.

Cagayan de Oro city 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez chided the poll body at Tuesday’s hearing of the House of Representatives’ committee on suffrage and electoral reforms.


He initially asked Comelec for copies of certifications it obtained from the poll commission of Congo and from the United Nations for Iraq.


Congo and Iraq, which also used Miru Systems’ services for previous polls, are two countries that encountered problems with their elections’ automated systems.

After the Comelec gave the House committee copies of the certifications, Rodriguez asked if the poll body obtained the side of poll watchdogs in Congo and Iraq who criticized Miru Systems.

Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said their Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) did not ask for the side of Miru System’s critics.

“Did you get the report or not? Carter, National Episcopal Conference, and Church of Christ — they were cited in this report. Did you get them or you did not?” Rodriguez asked.

“According to SBAC, they did not get the report,” Casquejo said.

“That is a big negligence, Mr. Chairman. There are reports on the integrity of the elections. We should have gotten this. Then, you have to study whether this Miru is really qualified or did a very lousy job in Congo,” Rodriguez told the Comelec official.


Rodriguez was referring to reports that in Congo, 45 percent of polling stations handled by Miru Systems supposedly encountered difficulties.

As for Iraq, a staggering 70 percent of voting stations had problems that forced the country to revert to a manual count.

These concerns were mentioned by ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro, who earlier called on the House to probe the issue.

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

READ: Comelec backs House probe into deal with Miru over solon’s worries 

Aside from concerns over Congo and Iraq’s elections, Rodriguez also noted that the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, which gave the certification for Miru Systems, supposedly had no involvement in the implementation of the elections in that country.

The lawmaker said it might be important to get both sides so that Filipinos would be well-informed about the problems that Miru Systems encountered.

“Iraq, Mr. Chairman, in Iraq, there is no certification by the electoral committee, commission of Iraq. What was stated here, according to Comelec, is not. It is a statement, Mr. Chairman, of the United Nations representative in Iraq, and it is not even about the watchdog for elections of the United Nations,” Rodriguez said.

“The UNAMI is a United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq — and what does it say here? Not a certification, a statement, and a briefing of the Security Council,” the lawmaker pointed out.

“Did you, therefore, get — because these are all in the papers — did you get the report of the Alliance of Networks and National Organizations for Monitoring Elections, which stated that 70 percent of the voting stations experienced difficulties, which eventually resulted in the conduct of manual elections?” Rodriquez asked Casquejo.

“Now, did you get that report to be able to, you know, have these considered? You do not only get one side of the issue,” Rodriguez told the Comelec commissioner.

Eventually, lawmakers from the committee agreed to ask the embassies or consular offices of Congo, Iraq, and even Argentina, for their opinions on conducting elections using the service of Miru Systems.

Earlier, several lawmakers, including Rodriguez, Castro, Rizal 2nd District Representative Emigdio Tanjuatco III, and Sorsogon 2nd District Representative Wowo Fortes, expressed disappointment that Miru Systems officials did not attend the hearing of the panel.

According to Tanjuatco, while the committee has allowed Comelec Chairperson George Garcia to skip hearings due to his busy schedule, the same view cannot be held for Miru Systems.

On Monday, Comelec finally inked the P17.9 billion deal with Miru Systems for the 2025 elections.

However, different lawmakers and groups have questioned why Miru Systems was left as a lone bidder in the process.

Comelec, in response, said that six companies bought bidding documents, but only the consortium of Miru Systems was able to comply.

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

TAGS: Comelec, Rufus Rodriguez

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