WE watched Comelec Chairman Sixto Brilliantes yesterday morning talk to ABS-CBN News people, including broadcast icon Ted Failon, and saw how the Comelec Boss has either lost it and now has an addled brain or is a determined liar.
He biggest lie he said yesterday is that Smartmatic is the manufacturer of the PCOS machines. He said with aplomb that since this Venezuelan marketing company is the manufacturer of the Precinct Count Optical Scan machine then it is logical that it should be hired to repair them.
He seems to have forgotten or to have been brainwashed by Smartmatic’s wizard salesmen. The PCOS machines were first being manufactured in Taiwan by a company that could not continue the project. So Smartmatic had to find another manufacturer and had them made in China.
This has been the muddled and mendacious manner Chairman Brillantes has been conducting his discussions about Smartmatic, the PCOS machines, the defective way the ballots were read by the machines in the 2010 and 2013 elections, the defective way very many of the machines transmitted the defective and unverified count to the canvassing centers — in violation of our country’s laws.
He has also lied about the patriotic and courageous former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman. He said untruthfully that Mr. Lagman did not fight against Smartmatic and the Comelec decisions when Mr. Lagman was a commissioner.
Now we have confirmation–from the lips of Communications Secretary Coloma no less — that what we suspected is true. This is that–contrary to our Constitution’s warrant on independent constitutional institutions– Malacañang is in collusion with the Comelec in preparing to manage the 2016 election. This was something that Chairman Brillantes also admitted in his appearance on Ted Failon’s TV show yesterday morning.
Ted asked Mr. Brillantes if the President talks to, or consults him. He replied, Yes, I get consulted, but only once. Ted found that reply funny so, he sardonically asked, and switched on the laughter background, “Kinukonsulta kayo pero minsan lang, paano ba yan?” [The President habitually consults you, but only once–what kind of nonsense could that be?] Chairman Brillantes then explained that most of the time it is Justice Secretary Leila de Lima who talks to him for the president.
Secretary Coloma admitted on Monday in a lengthy press briefing that President Aquino’s Malacañang is behind the move to award Smartmatic the P1.2-billion contract to repair and refurbish the PCOS machines so they can be used in the 2016 elections. We Filipinos own the machines. Comelec bought them from Smartmatic for billions of pesos.
Chairman Brillantes clarified that the contract that Smartmatic has recently won is only to diagnose the existing machines. Smartmatic will be paid some P300 million for deciding if a machine should be scrapped or can still be repaired and what repairs must be done. He said if Smartmatic wins the contract to actually repair those machines needing reconditioning, the expense could go up to more than a billion pesos.
But former Comelec official Mel Magdamo, who has disclosed shenanigans committed by Comelec and Smartmatic, said that with the poll body’s P1.8 billion budget for the repairs the government should just buy a new set of machines.
To us, all these discussions about Smartmatic are nothing in the end but carabao dung. Because of the crimes and misrepresentation it has committed with Comelec blessings, this Venezuelan company does not deserve to have anything to do with our elections forever. The Philippine government should in fact be suing it.
But the combined power of the Palace, the Congress and Comelec will allow the poll body to repeat the anti-democratic manner the 2010 and 2013 elections were conducted.
We must pray hard that the Supreme Court justices continue to be patriots and declare illegal the automated election system implemented with PCOS machines by Smartmatic in 2010 and 2013 — and declare as well that the results are invalid because the safeguards were disabled and other requirements expressly stated by our laws were violated.
Yes, the sitting officials, the President included, can continue in office as de facto but illegal and illicit occupants of their offices.
The 2016 elections must be held without the farcical AES of Smartmatic and its PCOS machines
Otherwise, the people must rise and revolt against this criminal imposition on our electoral democracy.