Duterte, speaking at a gathering of Filipinos in Japan last week, told the Comelec to “dispose of Smartmatic,” citing cheating complaints raised by the opposition after the May 13 polls and votes that he lost during the 2018 presidential elections.
“I am telling you now, the people do not want Smartmatic. And if you use that in the next election three years from now, I do not know what will happen. Something has to give,” he added.
Poll glitches a contract ‘breach’
Panelo said the President “does not want any election in the future… [to] be tainted with a whiff of fraud or allegations that will produce the affect of people doubting the credibility of an election.”
The Philippines automated the election process in 2010 and Smartmatic has provided the technology, specifically vote counting machines, since then.
Despite last month’s glitches, however, the Palace said the results — government-backed candidates roundly trounced opposition bets — remained credible.
Commission on Elections Commissioner Luie Tito Guia answers lawmakers’ queries on the glitches that marred the midterm elections. The joint congressional oversight committee on the automated elections system conducted an inquiry on poll automation issues on Tuesday. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA
THE glitches that marred the May 12 midterm elections are enough grounds to cancel Smartmatic’s contract with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Malacañang said on Tuesday.
The poll body, which earlier said it would consider President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to junk the technology deal, this week said procedures should be followed and the legal basis laid.
Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo, however, said Smartmatic’s “inefficiency” should suffice.
“[I]f in your contract, [you were mandated] to give for instance the results of the elections within a span of time and you were not able to do it, then you have a breach,” Panelo said.
“The legal basis: If you have not done efficiently what you’re supposed to do. That’s the legal basis,” he added.