PCOS bidding fishy – ex-poll official


FORMER Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Augusto Lagman has warned that bidding for the procurement of 23,000 automated election systems (AESs) that will be used in the 2016 polls could be rigged in favor of Smartmatic.

Lagman on Tuesday said “something is very fishy” with the insistence of the Comelec to include Smartmatic in the bidding. He added that it is also possible that Smartmatic may win a P1.2-billion negotiated contract for the refurbishment of the old Precinct Count Optical System (PCOS) machines that it had supplied the poll body.

“That [Smartmatic emerging as successful bidder] can happen. That can very well happen,” Lagman, also an official of AES Watch, said.

He insisted that Smartmatic should not be included in the bidding because it violated several election rules during previous biddings “but the Comelec has stubbornly refused to blacklist it.”

Lagman said among Smartmatic’s violations in its handling of previous elections were the absence of digital signatures on PCOS machines and the unusually high number of cases of failure of compact flash cards.

He also took note of the open ports that leave the machines susceptible to third party manipulation and its non-disclosure that it did not own the software used in the past elections.

Lagman and his group are among those calling on the Comelec to blacklist Smartmatic from participating in any manner in the conduct of the 2016 elections.

Recently, a group of IT experts and cause-oriented groups organized the Citizens for Clean and Credible Elections (C3E) to guard against “electronic manipulation” of elections, including the banning of Smartmatic from electoral exercises.

Engineer Hermenegildo Estrella of C3E said “there is a great possibility of a large-scale electronic manipulation of the 2016 elections if Smartmatic remains as the supplier of automated election systems.”

Several senators, meanwhile, expressed belief that an automated election process is still the best way to conduct the political exercise despite warnings raised by some groups about its susceptibility to electronic manipulations.

The senators were reacting to an appeal made by the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) to Congress to enact a measure that will mandate the manual casting and counting of votes in the 2016 elections.

Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd said he prefers an automated election system, particularly the use of PCOS machines, over manual voting and counting.

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara also does not see anything wrong with the use of PCOS machines based on results of the 2010 and 2013 automated elections although he pushed for additional safeguards to ensure the integrity of the process.

In a recent hearing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System (JCOC-AES), Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. admitted receiving election-related complaints during the 2013 mid-term elections but maintained that most of the problems encountered were caused by human intervention. He said it is difficult to prevent election-related problems because there are always those would try to cheat or sabotage the elections.


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  1. Here we go again…. of course Smartmatic will get it. They’re already experts in the how to rig the election results. The yellow maggots will again get 60% of the votes, UNA will get 30%, and the rest just 10%.

    With mountains of proof being slapped on his face, Brillantes will still deny that the PCOS results were not pre-programmed.

    At ang mga ignoranteng Pinoy, boboto na naman. Magdadasal na sana mabilang ng tama boto nila. Hoy! hindi yan nakukuha sa dasal! Kailangang kumilos para hindi madaya mga kandidato nyo sa bilangan. MANUAL election is the only way to go.

  2. I am disappointed in Senators otto and Angara for still preferring the total LACK OF transparency in the Smartmatic-PCOS machine system to the manual process in the preincts which takes only the day of the voting up to midnight. PCOS machines, whose vote-countng cannot be verified and is unseen by the public, save only a few hours of counting time but transmits unverified results!!!! It is in the canvassing, whiere the dagdag bawas is done and even with the Smartmatic=PCOS syustem still takes a long time to finalize.
    Senator Sotto, naunsa na man ka, sir?
    And Senator Angara, maawa naman po kayo sa authenticity of our electoral democracy.
    Please, sirs, pay attention to the HONEST and SCIENTIFIC analyses of Dr. Tapang of AGHAM and his companions, of former Comelec Commissioner Augusto Lagman, exports Nelson Celis and Lito Averua, and truthful observers Bishop Arguelles (whom you used to respect, Sen. Sotto) and Archbishop Cardinal Vidal.