Poll watchdog to seek blacklisting anew of Smartmatic-TIM from 2016 elections
ELECTION watchdog Citizens for Clean Elections (C3E) has vowed to revive its bid to blacklist election technology provider Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation from participating in the 2016 elections.
C3E co-convenor Alain Pascua, in a statement, said they would file another petition to blacklist Smartmatic-TIM, considering that the new chairman of the Commission on Elections, Andres Bautista, has just been appointed.
In 2014, the Comelec junked the petition of C3E, saying the petitioners had no legal personality to initiate the blacklisting bid versus Smartmatic-TIM.
“We are optimistic about the openness shown by the new Chairman Andres Bautista, and we hope that he finds merit in our cause,” Pascua said.
“Smartmatic should not be allowed to participate any further, given its numerous violations, deficiencies, and sins of omission,” he added.
Pascua said they would use as a ground for blacklisting the recent decision of the Comelec-Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to disqualify Smartmatic during the post-qualification evaluation for the new Optical Mark Reader (OMR).
He added that they would also include in their petition the recent ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) nullifying the negotiated contract between the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM for the refurbishment of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
Pascua said they wanted to hasten their bid for the blacklisting of Smartmatic-TIM because of the forthcoming parallel public bidding for the refurbishment of the PCOS machines and the lease of new OMR machines for the 2016 polls.
“The Comelec should blacklist Smartmatic-TIM from any election-related activities and bids in order to ensure transparency and credibility in 2016,” said Pascua.
The group said the Smartmatic’s disqualification in the bidding for the 23,000 OMR units could be a “moro-moro” to give the company ample time to cure the infirmities in the corporate documents it submitted to the poll body.
“Perhaps the disqualification will give Smartmatic sufficient time to cure its corporate papers and become ‘spotless’ for the next bidding,” said Pascua. SFM
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