EXPERTS have shown how the Smartmatic PCOS system is inferior to the PATAS and TAPAT systems that are both astronomically cheaper than the Smartmatic system.
The Commission on Elections bosses are saying that Smartmatic’s system is best because it is not a hybrid system. But that is a lie. PCOS is just as hybrid a system as PATAS.
Most important is the accuracy, transparency and therefore honesty and credibility of the PATas and TAPAT systems, which the Smartmatic PCOS system is not. The Smartmatic system is faster–but by only 12 hours — than the Philippine-made systems because Smartmatic has eliminated the law-required steps that make the process in the precincts transparent, verifiable, recordable and visible to the public.
Former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman, in his most illuminating Manila Times column the other Wednesday (“Wait a minute … two hybrids?! Really?”) unassailably laid out the facts showing that the Smartmatic PCOS system is inferior to PATAS in accuracy, transparency and credibility as required by our automated election law.
He reiterated that “9% of the PCOS units failed to transmit the precinct results in the 2010 elections” and “23% of them failed to transmit in 2013. It is suspected that in 2013, the canvassing was not even completed.”
Smartmatic is inferior to PATAS in transparency because the latter’s counting is manual. With PATAS “the voters would see how their votes are counted. The simultaneous laptop counting and projection of the progress on a big screen enhance the transparency even more. A further enhancement: a snapshot of the ballot face can also be projected on the big screen so the voters would see if the BEI Chairman is reading the names correctly. This is how it should be – automation SHOULD enhance the transparency, not remove it (as in Smartmatic’s PCOS).”
And “every thirty minutes, PATaS will also transmit the partial results in each precinct to a public website. These partial results will then be consolidated so that the public will not only be able to access the counting in each and every precinct, but can also easily follow the progress of results in a municipality, province, and the whole country.” There seems to be no other system that can be as transparent as this. Smartmatic’s PCOS system does not have the capability to do the transmission of partial results.
And, Gus wrote, “Worse, it (Smartmatic) completely removed the transparency in our election system.”
In CREDIBILITY, because “PATAS is 100% accurate and more transparent than even the simple manual system, it is therefore very credible. PCOS, on the other hand, because it is neither accurate, nor transparent, is, not at all, credible.”
The only attribute in which PCOS has an advantage over PATAS is in speed. But Smartmatic is faster by only 12 hours. Gus Lagman asks: Should accuracy, transparency, credibility, and even cost, just to save 12 hours from the entire election process?
It still took weeks and over a month to be completed after election day in 2010 and 2013–because it has always been in the canvassing and consolidation of transmitted results from precincts where the dagdag bawas happens. In fact, in 2010 and 2013 the elections were not really completed correctly because the PCOS machines failed to transmit from some precincts, up to almost 20 percent, it appears. And the Comelec proclaimed winners even without these results,which could have changed the outcome (if the votes were counted correctly by the PCOS machines.)
Gus also wrote the other Wednesday: “Comelec says that PATaS will cost P36 billion. That is not true, of course. Comelec also says that the PATaS software will take at least one more year to finish. That is again not true…. These are all lies, just like when Comelec says that PATaS violates the law. But I’m not surprised; they lie all the time, to get what they want.”
His final sentences are: “I told Chairman Andy Bautista during our last meeting that there are only two logical reasons why a government official would choose PCOS, but both reasons are illegal and immoral. One, is that there’s a lot of money to be made; and two, with PCOS, it is much easier to control the result of elections. PCOS, anyone?”
God Almighty, please have mercy on us Filipinos. Strike down these liars who for their selfish ends pervert our desire and efforts to make a happy, democratic and honest nation-state according to your Will.