Smartmatic obliged to provide thermal paper—poll lawyer | Inquirer News

Smartmatic obliged to provide thermal paper—poll lawyer

/ 04:35 PM April 15, 2016
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The thermal papers from Smartmatic-TIM are not a mere donation but part of its obligation, an election law expert said Friday.

Atty. Romulo Macalintal said “the reported ‘donation’ by Smartmatic to Comelec of 1.1M rolls of thermal paper should not be treated as such.”


READ: Smartmatic to donate paper for vote receipts

He said the thermal papers given by Smartmatic-TIM were more for its protection and interest which is to insure 100% compatibility with the 94,000 Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) it leased to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to the tune of P10.3 billion.


“As supplier of thermal paper, Smartmatic would feel more confident if it has direct control and supervision in the production or manufacture of the thermal paper that would be fed into the VCMs convinced that its quality would not be compromised,” Macalintal said.

READ: Vote receipts likely to cause elections failure, Comelec tells SC

Smartmatic submitted an P84-million bid to supply the thermal paper but lost to a local company with a P50-million bid.

“Thus, Smarmatic would rather lose P5OM than face the consequence of being blamed in case something happens in the issuance of these voter’s receipts such as paper jam and similar unforeseen incidents during the voting,” Macalintal added.

Voting 6-1, the Comelec en banc has approved the 1.1-million rolls of thermal paper from Smartmatic. It will be used for the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) in the vote-counting machines.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, the lone dissenter in the case, said the act of accepting the donation can be considered graft.

“I believe that receiving a donation from Smartmatic who is doing business with Comelec, is graft,” she said.


READ: Comelec accepts Smartmatic’s thermal paper donation; Guanzon cries graft

Macalintal said to avoid any legal controversy, the Comelec should treat the supply of thermal paper as part of Smartmatic’s obligation in leasing the 94,000 VCMs to Comelec because one of the “minimum system capabilities” required of these VCMs under the law is the “voter verified paper audit trail” which, as recently interpreted by the Supreme Court, refers to the “voter’s receipts” to be issued to the voters after casting their ballots. IDL

READ: SC reminds Comelec to obey ruling on voting receipts

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Automated elections, Comelec, Elections 2016, Romulo Macalintal, Smartmatic, thermal paper, voter receipts
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2021 | 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.