Duterte wants Comelec to junk Smartmatic machinesPosted on
DAVAO CITY (May 31) —- Apparently fed up by the unending problems and glitches involving the vote counting machines (VCM) and voter registration verification machines (VRVMs), President Rodrigo Duterte wanted the Commission on Elections to junk the machines.
Duterte issued the statement while he was still on official trip in Japan.
The announcement to junk the machines came after an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) asked the President why the government continues to tap the services of Smartmatic despite its lackluster performance and dubious track record.
To everyone’s surprise, Duterte answered “I would like to advise Comelec now—hindi ko na lang hintayin—dispose of that Smartmatic and look for a new one that is free of fraud.”
Duterte admitted the smartmatic issue should have been part of his State of the National Address (SONA) in July but the announcement went ahead.
During the May 13 midterm elections, candidates complained about the slow transmission of result while other claimed there was cheating.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a press statement clarified “The President’s latest remarks on Smartmatic does not mean that the just-concluded elections is not honest nor credible. It is.”
A teacher told NewsLine.ph “It took seventeen (17) seconds to transmit a ballot, if the connection and machine is in good condition, unfortunately for us, one machine malfunctioned in the middle of transmission, we need to feed it again and again, for a municipality with 21,000 voters – it took us 48 hours to finish the transmission, watchers were complaining, but we were helpless, it was not a human error–technology glitch after all.”
To end the woes, Duterte on Thursday advised the Comelec to look for another election technology provider .
“Kasi ang Liberal…sabi nila nadaya sila. Ako sabi nila nadaya rin. And you know it’s creating an environment of hostile attitude against that Smartmatic. You have three years. Kakatapos lang ng election. Palitan na ninyo kasi it is no longer acceptable to me, to the people and even to the congressmen who are here,” he added.
According to the President, the government should do away with anything that promotes cheating. That’s why, he is recommending that Smartmatic be replaced as Comelec’s technology provider.
He also expressed displeasure over the government’s bidding process as a way of securing contract for election technology provider. The government should scrap such procedure, he said.
The May 13 election was the fourth national elections that used the automated voting system of Smartmatic.-ezc/NewsLine.ph