Groups draft changes in law on poll automation | Inquirer News

Groups draft changes in law on poll automation

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 05:00 AM July 03, 2017

Several poll watchdog groups are now drafting amendments that they would propose to strengthen the 10-year old Election Automation Law.

In a press briefing, the Automated Election System (AES) Watch,, Philippine Computer Society and Reform Philippines Coalition (RPC) said they were already outlining provisions aimed at changing and improving Republic Act (RA) No. 9369.

“We are actually drafting a new Automated Election System (AES) law that would strengthen the institution of automated elections in the country,” said RPC spokesperson Glenn Chong.


He said the new AES draft aimed to better ensure that the basic principles of an automated poll system were safeguarded.


“This would strengthen the security and ensure that our elections would be transparent, clean, honest and secure,” Chong said.

Single contractor

The election watchdog groups had been criticizing the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for tapping Smartmatic International for the last three national elections despite the AES provider’s supposed violations of the provisions of RA 9369.

Recently, the groups said it was possible that fraud was committed during the May 2016 elections after all the security features required by RA 9369 were, according to the groups, disregarded by the Comelec and Smartmatic.

Maricor Akol, coconvener, said one particular provision that the groups were considering is how to ensure accountability in case the error is committed by the Comelec.

“There were no provisions for penalties [in RA 9369]. What would happen if they are the ones guilty of failing to secure the system? What if they fail to do something? In the revision that we are coming out with, we’ll come out with the penalties,” Akol said.


AES Watch spokesperson Nelson Celis said the draft measure was already in its final review stage.

“It is already for submission to the Senate hopefully in two to three weeks,” he said.

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TAGS: AES Watch, org, RPC

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