Poll watchdogs ask Comelec to scrap deal with Smartmatic to fix vote machines | Inquirer News

Poll watchdogs ask Comelec to scrap deal with Smartmatic to fix vote machines

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 07:01 PM January 13, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Election watchdogs on Tuesday delivered a joint protest letter to the Commission on Elections, asking the poll body to scrap its decision to enter into a deal with Smartmatic for the diagnostics of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

In their letter, members of the Citizens for Clean and Credible Elections (C3E) and Automated Election Systems Watch (AES Watch) said the Comelec should defer the awarding of the diagnostic contract until after the retirement of Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes and Commissioners Elias Yusoph and Lucenito Tagle.

They also demanded that the outgoing officials inhibit themselves from “any long-term decision making, especially on critical issues involving the questionable counting accuracy of the Smartmatic-provided PCOS machines, out of a sense of propriety and delicadeza.”


They also maintained that the Comelec should have bid out the entirety of the PCOS refurbishment contract and that its argument of a lack of time and that Smartmatic had exclusivity over the PCOS was highly arguable and questionable.


The Comelec earlier approved Smartmatic’s P300-million proposal to examine the voting machines for glitches, the first phase of the P1.2-billion contract for the refurbishment of the over 80,000 PCOS machines.

Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes explained that the Comelec tapped Smartmatic for the PCOS diagnostics because, being the machines’ manufacturer, it was in the best position to determine if there were glitches in the equipment.

It added that it opted to contract directly with Smartmatic for the PCOS diagnostics because “time is of the essence” in the preparations for the 2016 elections.

But the poll watchdogs reiterated their position that Smartmatic should be banned from participating in current and future election procurement processes on the basis of numerous accounts of ownership misrepresentation and non-compliance with election and government procurement laws.

Manila Auxilliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, public affairs head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, led the poll watchdogs in delivering the protest letter to the Comelec.

Aside from Pabillo, signatories to the protest letter include Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles and Superior Mary John Manansan. They were joined by convenors of the Citizens for Clean and Credible Elections (C3E) and officers of Automated Election System (AES) Watch, the Center for People Empowerment and Governance (CenPEG), Transparentelections.org, and militant groups Makabayan, Gabriela and Migrante International.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: AES Watch, C3E, CenPEG, diagnostics, Elias Yusoph, Gabriela, inhibition, Makabayan, News, PCOS, Smartmatic

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.