The Smartmatic-PCOS Reign must end


AS expected, the Commission on Elections rejected the petition of Government Watch, a non-governmental organization that monitors anomalies, for the Comelec to desist from employing the Smartmatic Automated Election System (that uses the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines) in the 2016 election.

Government Watch, headed by industrialist and consumer welfare advocate Raul Conception, had urged the Comelec to abandon its plan to use the old PCOS machines in the 2016 polls because the Venezuelan corporation’s AES system and the machines are not credible. Government Watch requests the Comelec to instead employ an entirely new Automated Election System or AES.

Mr. Concepcion said cases of discrepancies revealed at a recent Senate hearing were compelling reasons to junk the Smartmatic PCOS machines.

Many experts—including former Comelec commissioner Gus Lagman and election process and technology professionals Lito Averia and Nelson Celis (who write columns in The Manila Times) and their colleagues in AES Watch and academe—have painstakingly explained the imperfections and proneness to manipulation and fraud of the PCOS machines and the Smartmatic system.

In the West, more sophisticated countries than the Philippines, like Germany, stopped using systems similar to the Smartmatic AES-cum-PCOS machines because they saw the very same ills and un-transparent characteristics that the Filipino experts are pointing out.

But Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. has turned a deaf ear to these valid complaints and entreaties. He even accuses these experts of being “troublemakers.”

His main point in defending his decision to continue using Smartmatic’s discredited, unreliable and un-transparent system using the PCOS machines is that his office does not have enough funds to replace the 80,000 old PCOS machines that were used in the anomalous 2010 and 2013 elections. And he insists that the PCOS machines are credible.

Solid facts show (1) that the use of the PCOS machines made the 2010 and 2013 elections illegal (because the Election Code and the Automated Election laws were violated); (2) that election results yielded by the PCOS machines show a pattern of errors that must be due to nothing else but manipulation of the cards used by the machines; (3) that losing candidates’ protests based on true and manifest irregularities in the results yielded by the PCOS machines could not be processed because there is no way to verify the precinct counts produced by the machines; (4) that the counts made by the PCOS machines were made additionally wrong by the appearance of ink lines on the ballots inside the machines; (5) that the results of the counts are statistically improbable, (6) that the PCOS has failed in the law-mandated checks comparing the PCOS counts with those of manual ballot counts.

Despite these and other facts showing the fatal imperfections of the Smartmatic AES cum PCOS machines, Chairman Brillantes obstinately and unreasonably stands pat on his position that the PCOS machines’ performance has been near-perfect in the 2010 and 2013 elections. That they passed in the legally required tests—which is not true. He admits that the PCOS machines do have “deficiencies” but he claims, unbelievably, that these are being corrected for the 2016 polls.

He buttresses his stand by saying that it just follows the recommendation of the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) to use both old and new election machines in the 2016 presidential polls.

The Comelec-Smartmatic way has made Philippine elections a travesty of electoral democracy. This Smartmatic AES using PCOS machines has given us public officials and lawmakers whose election victories are questionable. They are therefore PCOS-made officials, governors, mayors, congressmen and senators. In a sense, we are now under the Reign of Smartmatic-PCOS.

This illegal reign must end. Otherwise our deterioration as an electoral democracy will continue until our beloved Republic of the Philippines disappears.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Andre da Silva on

    I am Brazilian and we recently had our presidential election which was conducted using these Smartmatic machines. By the amount of incidents that took place we felt betrayed and cheated by Brazilian Government as it is clear that a big or the biggest fraud took place here. If your contry has the chance do avoid and give up the idea of using this fraud-prone machine, in the name of democracy do it. Our presidential election was a fraud, people from withing the labour party (PT-partido dos trabalhadores) were celebrating the victory 4 days before the election, and a recent letter even show the difference in votes between Dilma Roussef and Aecio Neves. This machine has to be stopped and thrown away at every part of the world. Venezuela is not a role model of democracy and will never be with a bolivarianist president who belongs to FORO DE SAO PAULO.
    Dear Philippine friends, do not accept the idea of Smartmatic deciding the future of your conutry!

  2. Anong meron ang smartmatic at nagpapakamatay itong si brilliantes?
    Gusto siguro bago siya mawala sa comelec magkaroon pa siya nangpabaon! Dapat ibaon ng buhay ang matandang ito!
    Walang mabuti sa kanya kung hindi smartmatic,!lahat masama!!

  3. Smartmatic-PCOS must not be used for elections. There are too many indications of wrong results and the process is hidden from public view.

  4. The only way to stop this is to OCCUPY COMELEC and to lynch and mob the Commission-ners to stop the incompetents and horrors of politicians you see today from happening again.
    The recount in Tarlac has proven again that PCOS is doing magic.
    Lagman, Averia and Solis should have more balls against the old man – “brasuhin na ninyo kung kinakailangan para sa kapakanan ng Bayan”

    OCCUPY COMELEC! its the only way

    • Agree ! But not just to “lynch” only the Chairman and Commissioners but also the second level management officials of Comelec who did the dirty work to effect such travesty against our democracy in 2010 and 2013 and soon in 2016. The Chairman and the Commissioners are just signing anything these 2nd level tulisans foist on them to sign. They are utterly technically clueless. This is one major if not the key reason why the travesty persists from 2009 to-date despite the leadership changes of the Commission from Abalos to Melo and the Brillantes regimes. There is a common denominator across this period when suddenly overnight, we sank into an electoral system from a more acceptable manual to the worst automated system in the world ! The same people have been sitting on the same positions over this three regimes committing the same evil tricks with with drilled “perfection.” .

      YES, OCCUPY Comelec ! Jam Paza Roma and surrounding streets in Intramuros around Palacio del Gobernador with people who still love their country and its remaining “democracy.”.