Imee files measure to end Smartmatic ‘dominance’

July 09, 2019

SENATOR Imee Marcos seeks to end Comelec bondage to Smartmatic and render Philippine elections more transparent and reflective of the people’s will.

Marcos filed Senate Bill 221 proposing to strike out a provision in Republic Act 9369 which bars other service providers from participating so that Smartmatic becomes the only available choice.

“Dahil sa probisyong ito, wala nang pipiliing iba ang Comelec kundi Smartmatic. Inilagay sa batas ang Smartmatic control sa automated elections ng ating bansa,”said Marcos.

Marcos pointed out  Section 12 which she says, in effect, sets a pre-condition before an AES can be considered for use by the Comelec. It requires that the AES should have “demonstrated the capability and had been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise here or abroad.”

“It narrowed the field of qualified service providers to Smartmatic alone and negates the entire purpose of setting other technical requirements in choosing an AES provider,” Marcos explained.

Marcos added that amending the controversial provision will give other AES providers the chance to be chosen by Comelec and will “pave the way for more transparent elections.”

The clamor to ban Smartmatic has grown because of alleged widespread cheating in the May 9, 2016 elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte himself told Comelec in a speech last May to “dispose of that Smartmatic and look for a new one that is free of fraud.”