The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday expressed confidence that the petition filed by the Citizens for Clean and Credible Elections (C3E) before the Supreme Court (SC) against the poll body
will be dismissed.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said that the petition filed by the C3E at the SC will be eventually junked, citing the “rehashed grounds” used by the petitioners.
The poll body chief was referring to similar cases questioning the Comelec’s contract with Smartmatic for the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines that were filed with the SC before the 2010 and 2013 elections.
The cases were eventually decided in favor of the Comelec.
Brillantes also said that the petitioners have committed procedural lapses in going directly to the SC since they are not among the participating bidders in the Comelec public bidding. “They should have filed the petition first with the commission en banc,” he said.
“They are not bidding parties who may ask for a blacklist [against Smartmatic]. But even if they can, they should have filed their petition first with the Comelec en banc. We have the power to reverse the BAC [Bids and Awards Committee] decision. Why didn’t they file an appeal with us?” Brillantes asked.
To recall, the C3E has filed a petition asking the SC to blacklist Smartmatic and bar it from participating anew in the ongoing Comelec bidding for the 2016 automated polls.
The group cited the failure of the multinational company to meet its contractual obligations, specifically in the 2010 and 2013 elections.
The C3E petition at the SC was filed after the Comelec’s BAC denied the groups’ petition last year to blacklist Smartmatic, saying the petitioners have no legal personality to initiate the blacklisting bid.