Editorial

We Filipinos should not let them make our Republic a toilet

THEM refers to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes and his friends the Smartmatic-TIM corporation. With Mr. Brillantes’ push Smartmatic-TIM has been declared an eligible bidder to supply Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines for use in the 2016 elections. The Venezuelan marketing operators are also allowed to continue supplying the Comelec with more PCOS machines and other devices for use also in 2016.

We Filipinos must really hate our country. We don’t value our Republic and our historic effort to become a true democracy with elections that are honest, credible and fraud-free.

Otherwise, why are we letting Brillantes and Smartmatic–with its PCOS machines and now its DRE machines–spit at, piss on and shit on our Republic, our elections and our laws?

Election expert Nelson Celis once more summarized Smartmatic’s criminal violations of our election code, in his column “The one that got away.”

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He says Smartmatic got away already with “all its violations of our laws (e.g., RA9369, RA8792, RA9184), rules (e.g. Rules on Electronic Evidence by Supreme Court and Rules of Government Policy and Procurement Board), terms of reference (e.g., 99.995% accuracy and digital signatures), post qualification procedures and inquiries (e.g., Jarltech case), project implementation (e.g., failed to electronically transmit 24% of the election results or 18 million votes in 2013) and tons of other issues and concerns since they landed in the Philippines.”

Mr. Celis writes that of late “even insiders of Comelec are having big question marks about Smartmatic’s push in trying to violate the Government Procurement Reform Act or RA 9184! Comelec’s Legal Deparment Head, Director Esmeralda Ladra, said, ‘It behooves upon us to ensure that this Extension of Warranty for the repair and maintenance of PCOS machines, which is a clear example of direct contracting or single source procurement, be made to undergo the tests of validity under R.A. 9184.’ “

Against Director Ladra–continues Mr. Celis– “Cesar Flores of Smarmatic insisted that ‘Smartmatic has the capability to handle the refurbishing project, and it will be advantageous if Comelec awards the PCOS repair project to Smartmatic instead of holding a public bidding.” As if Flores is the engineer of the PCOS machine and that they can do the job when in fact the Dominion Voting System (DVS) is the real owner of the PCOS hardware and software technology and not Smartmatic.

“Flores knows that they deceived us, the Filipino people, when he and his Smartmatic cohorts did not disclose the ownership information during the Comelec bidding exercise in 2009. Now, Flores is intimidating us into not holding a bidding for that P1.2 billion repair project and just give it to Smartmatic without public bidding…Mabuhay ka Atty. Ladra!”

“Smartmatic also got away with not attending the last hearing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee (JCOC) on Automated Election System (AES) on December 4, 2014. Sen. Koko Pimentel commented, ‘Okay, they sent an excuse letter. They are too tired to attend. What made them tired? The Chairman and the Commissioners are here.’ Ms. Evi Jimenez of Center for People Empowerment and Governance (CenPEG) replied, “And I am not glad that Smartmatic’s Cesar Flores is not here xxx, a major company stakeholder in the elections.” Just imagine, Smartmatic, a company that bagged multi-billion peso contracts taken from Filipino taxpayers’ money, was not able to send not even a single representative!? Mahiya naman kayo sa mga Pilipino!”

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Dear God, please give us the miracle of loving our country once more. Make us Filipinos rise in anger against these people who are out to destroy our Republic and our electoral democracy.