Bidding for purchase of poll counting machines to push through
MANILA, Philippines—Bidding for the purchase of automated counting machines for the 2016 elections will push through.
This, after the Supreme Court deferred action on the petition to stop the bidding filed by former Immigration Commissioner Homobono Adaza.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set the deadline for submission of requirements for bidders for the optimal mark reader (OMR) and direct recording electronic (DRE) system including demonstration of election machines on Dec. 4 and 5.
High Court’s Information Chief Theodore Te said respondents Comelec and Smartmatic were given 10 days to comment upon receipt of the high court’s resolution.
In his petition, former Immigration Commissioner Homobono Adaza said the high court should stop the Dec. 4 bidding due to Comelec’s failure to resolve issues on the performance of 2010 and 2013 technology provider Smartmatic.
He said many of the 82,000 precinct count optical scan machines (PCOS) deployed in last year’s midterm polls remain unaccounted for and have yet to undergo technical and forensic tests, which are needed to determine which units are still usable.
“[T]he commission or continuance of the said public (on December 4, 2014) and acts pursuant thereto and thereafter will work grave and serious injustice to the applicants and the Filipino people, in general, as billions of pesos will be lost to them and their right to have clean, honest and orderly elections will be impaired and disregarded,” the petition stated.
Comelec has allocated P2-billion for the optimal mark reader (OMR) machines while P32.5 million for the direct recording electronic (DRE) units.
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