Group fights use of PCOS
MANILA, Philippines—A coalition of political reform groups on Thursday renewed its call for the government to forego the use of automated election machines in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao polls, saying the machines were defective and tainted the results of the May 2010 elections when they were first used.
Tanggulang Demokrasya (TanDem), which groups together supporters of defeated presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro, the Ang Kapatiran Party and others, also called on Congress to intervene in the Commission on Elections plan to purchase the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines used in the 2010 polls.
“Everything must be done to make sure the PCOS will not be used again,” said Grace Riñoza-Plazo, a defeated senatorial candidate from Ang Kapatiran.
“The PCOS contain defects that may have been imbedded [in them] in order to render them subject to manipulation,” she said at the launch of TanDem at the Valle Verde Country Club on Thursday.
TanDem had its beginnings shortly after last year’s elections when claims of fraud using the PCOS machines were made. The coalition includes at least a dozen youth, migrant workers and social reform advocacy groups.
“TanDem is nonpartisan. [Our objective] is to bring to the people’s attention serious electoral crimes, to demand accountability and seek an immediate rectification of the corrupted automated electoral system before any other automated elections are held,” the group said.
Enumerating the PCOS machines purported defects, Edmundo Casiño of the Philippine Computer Society said Smartmatic, its supplier, was “not qualified” to bring election technology to the Philippines as doubts continued to surround the 2010 election results.
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