New Comelec chair urged to junk Smartmatic deal

May. 05, 2015

DAVAO CITY – A member of the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal urged newly appointed officials of the Commission on Elections to refuse deals with election service provider Smartmatic.

“We hope that the infusion of new blood into the Commission on Election’s roster of commissioners will tip the COMELEC’s previous overly favorable decisions toward its anomalous transactions with Smartmatic,” said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan following the appointment of new COMELEC chairperson Andres Bautista along with two new other commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Sheriff Abas.

Ilagan, a member of the HRET said in a statement that in carrying out the Automated Elections using Smartmatic’s PCOS machines in 2010 and in 2013 “the COMELEC allowed foreign-owned Smartmatic to practically disable all the PCOS’ capabilities that will help make the election process transparent.”

“The counting done by the machines became extremely difficult to verify and consequently, its accuracy and integrity placed under question. These were clearly stipulated as requirements for the implementation of the AES in the Automated Election Law (Republic Act 9369). People’s participation and involvement in the elections were undermined and the demand to make elections, clean, honest and transparent was disregarded,” she said.

Militant lawmakers under the Makabayan bloc are pushing for the implementation of automated canvassing in the 2016 elections while allowing manual voting and counting to be conducted at the precinct level.

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