Comelec-BAC refuses to blacklist Smartmatic unless there is an order from the poll body or SC

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec)–Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) has refused to blacklist Smartmatic Corporation unless there is an order to do so from the proper authorities.

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Comelec-BAC Chairman Helen Flores said they cannot prevent the company from joining in the public bidding for the automated election system (AES) to be used in the 2016 elections.

“This committee is not taking speculations into account. We can only be bound by orders from the procuring entity (Comelec) or maybe from the Supreme Court (SC). Otherwise, kung sino ang pupunta dito to bid will have to be treated equally,” she said.

However, she also said that if a petition is already filed, they might suspend the participation of Smartmatic depending on the ruling.

“Depende ito sa nature ng case na isasampa sa korte at depende din sa desisyon nila,” the Comelec-BAC official said.

Meanwhile, AES Watch Spokesman Nelson Celis disclosed that they are preparing to file a petition before the High Court to blacklist Smartmatic.

“We will file the petition in due time. For now, we are already prepared with our draft of the petition. We will be asking the SC to blacklist Smartmatic,” he said in a media forum on Monday.

However, the group did not divulge the grounds of their petition.

Celis reiterated their call for the Comelec not to use the old precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines in the 2016 polls for not being reliable.

“Hindi po reliable ang mga makinang ginamit. Ang mga safeguards na supposedly nakalagay dapat sa makina ay hindi na-implement like yung ultra violet (UV) lamps, digital signatures, and the source code,” he added.

For his part, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said that the machines are accurate.

“The two Supreme Court rulings give us substantial basis to feel confident on our decision to use the PCOS again,” he said in the same forum. PNA

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