KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS: ‘Comelec ignored Smartmatic’s violations’ PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 11:19

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

 

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16, the Holy Bible).

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WHY IS COMELEC STILL ALLOWING SMARTMATIC TO PARTICIPATE IN ITS BIDDINGS? Why is the Commission on Elections still allowing Smartmatic to participate in its bidding for additional automated election machines, similar to the judicially-discredited precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, to be used for the 2016 presidential elections when, information technology experts claim, there are sufficient grounds to disqualify and blacklist the company?

In fact, one of these experts named Jun Estrella told a public forum organized by the Kaakbay Citizens’ Development Initiatives at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City last week that the Comelec should have already banned Smartmatic from participating in the bidding, because of its alleged numerous violations of existing laws on automated or computerized elections.

In the Kaakbay forum, Estrella was reported to have enumerated what he claimed were Smartmatic’s various violations: first, he said, Smartmatic was not ISO 9001 certified, as required by the Special Bids and Awards Committee of the Comelec, and by Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, when it bidded, and won, in previous Comelec biddings.

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“COMELEC IGNORED SMARTMATIC VIOLATIONS”: Second, Estrella noted, Smartmatic’s supposed ISO certification when it participated (and subsequently won) in the bidding for the automated electoral process for the country’s past elections did not belong to it, but to a Taiwan-based company known as Jarltech International.

For Smartmatic’s third violation, Estrella said that, contrary to law, it did not own the PCOS software and source code it used in the elections for 2010 and 2013, because the software and the source code belonged to another company known as Dominion Voting Systems.

Estrella said he was surprised that the Comelec and the government as a whole did not do anything about this, especially because the Manual for the Procurement of Goods and Services of the General Procurement and Policy Board of the poll body required those winning Comelec projects not sub-contract more than 20% of the awarded projects to another company. Yet Smartmatic technically sub-contracted the whole computerized elections, Estrella noted.

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COMELEC’S SILENCE ON POLL RIGGING TERRIFYING: Truly, these are very serious accusations, but what is more terrifying about all these is the Comelec’s clearly deliberate silence on these allegations, and on all other criticisms about the inexplicable insistence of the poll body to use the already-discredited PCOS machines, especially because such use of the unreliable and fraud-prone machines could cost some P18 billion, or P13 billion more if another, less expensive, system is used.

In fact, it is totally frightening that the Comelec, up to now, is refusing to obey Supreme Court resolutions issued several years ago yet, directing it to do certain things to refute charges that Smartmatic’s use of PCOS machines resulted in disenfranchising Filipino voters whose choices were allegedly supplanted through an electronic “dagdag-bawas” scheme.

What is clear now is that, with the Comelec’s insistence to use PCOS machines yet again for the 2016 elections, it can happen that the Philippines will once again be ruled by politicians whose claim to victory would be tainted with accusations that it was the manipulation of PCOS machines that truly elected them, not the votes of the people. I shudder to think what the country will undergo under such fraudulent officials.

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REACTIONS? Please call me at 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0922 833 43 96. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com, melaniolazomauriciojr@outlook.com, mmauriciojr111@gmail.com.