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Pres. Duterte Advises Comelec To Stop Contract w/ Smartmatic

COMELEC – The Commission on Elections reacted to the advice of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to ditch Smartmatic in the next elections.

One of the partners of the Commission on Elections in the automated elections in the Philippines is the Smartmatic. The Venezuela-based company provides the vote-counting machines (VCMs).

However, it seems that Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte is not satisfied with the performance of Smartmatic.

Speaking in front of the Filipino people in Japan, Pres. Duterte expressed his advice to the Comelec to end the contract with Smartmatic.

Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Photo Courtesy of The Manila Times

Pres. Duterte stressed that it is no longer accepted by the people. He even cited that the Liberal Party allegedly claims they were cheated on during the election.

As for the President, the Commission should look for another one that is “free from fraud”. He stressed that they now have a lot of time to do it since the political bid has just been held.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez reacted amid the advice of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte to ditch Smartmatic in the next elections.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez
Photo Courtesy of GMA News

According to Jimenez, in banning a supplier or provider for the next elections, they really need a legal basis.

Also, with regards to the problems during the poll like the corrupted VCMs, the Commission attributed them as the result of non-synchronization of the SD cards, markers, and ballot papers.

“There is always a chance na magpalit ng provider. Wala namang hold ang Smartmatic sa atin. Tayo ay sumusunod [lamang] sa rules ng public bidding kung saan ang Smartmatic ang nananalo,” he said based on the report.

Regarding Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s statement on the Smartmatic issue, the Comelec Spokesman expressed that the President is not getting rid of the automated system.

“Hindi itinatakwil ng Presidente ang automated system. Kaya lang, hindi siya satisfied doon sa supplier [ng vote counting machines],” Jimenez expressed.

Based on the report, the Comelec eyes on the positive side that the proclamation went smoothly.

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