A poll watchdog appealed to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday not to use Smartmatic’s automated election system in the 2016 presidential polls.
Kontra Daya, which is composed of the clergy, teachers, information technology experts and activists, based its demand on the various problems encountered during last May’s polls.
In a rally in front of Comelec headquarters led by convenor Gani Tapang, the group called on the poll body to discontinue the usage of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines because many of the units malfunctioned.
“The recently concluded polls were filled with so many problems which include the failure of some 18,000 machines to transmit results on election day, problematic CF cards, malfunctioning PCOS machines along with an error with the transparency server that bloated initial results from 1,400 precincts. We should want to know from Comelec how much it has so far paid Smartmatic and how much is Smartmatic billing us for the services it supposedly rendered during the elections,” Tapang said
“From what we saw last May, we don’t think it is right for taxpayer’s money to be paid Smartmatic given its dismal performance. Smartmatic should even be fined by Comelec and asked to return previous statements,” he said.
On Tuesday, Smartmatic declared that the May elections were successful, saying its machines transmitted data to tallying centers and that the results were easily available to the public through the internet.
Sixto Brillantes Jr. downplayed Kontra Daya’s claims and said that the around 80,000 PCOS machines are already owned by the government. “Tell us what is wrong with the PCOS, not doubts. Give us specifics on what is wrong with the PCOS. The PCOS belongs to us already. We have already paid for it,” Brillantes said.
Last March 2012, the commission en banc purchased the vote counting machines from Smartmatic for P1.8 billion.
JOHANNA M. SAMPAN