Probes of poll fraud backed

May 22, 2019

THE House Minority group expressed support for investigations by the Senate and Commission on Elections (Comelec) into the alleged election fraud.

In a press conference, outgoing Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said the investigation should focus on the procurement of the equipment involved.

Suarez noted that the budget for the supply of SD cards is P80 million, however the winning bid was only P29 million.

“That is considerably less than 40 percent of the approved budget. We may ask, what happened to the remaining budget? With all the mishaps in the recent elections, we got what we paid for,” Suarez said.

Suarez won as governor of Quezon Province. He was replaced by wife Aleta Suarez as Representative of the 3rd District of Quezon. His son, former Governor Jayjay Suarez won as 2nd District Representatives while his wife Anna Villaraza-Suarez is the first nominee of ALONA party-list.

Reports said that at least 961 vote-counting machines (VCMs) malfunctioned during the period of voting and at least 1,65 SD cards were corrupted.

After the elections,  the transmission of CoCs to the Comelec transparency servers was delayed for seven hours.

For this 2019 mid-term elections, the SD cards were supplied by a different company pursuant to the unbundled system in procurement being followed since 2013.

“Automated elections have been implemented for the fourth time in the country. Still, issues regarding the machines and other supplied arise despite being given the time and ample budget for procurement,” Suarez said.

And given these situations, the Minority called for a re visit of the procurement process.

“We understand the intent of the laws, however, this should not lead to the deterioration of the quality of the supplies provided to the government, especially when it involves activities affecting the fundamental rights of the citizens,” Suarez said.