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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Smartmatic appeals anew to bid for 2025 automated elections

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Smartmatic Philippines on Saturday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) anew to dismiss the petition to disqualify the firm from participating in the bidding process for the 2025 automated polls.

The elections technology provider claimed in a statement that the accusations hurled at the company were unfounded and lacked evidence.

“The petitioners’ clear objective is both political, attempting to delegitimize the government, and commercial, supporting Smartmatic competitors. These claims are unfounded, and presented as facts but lacking any evidence. The petitioners have not demonstrated a single vote discrepancy,” it said in a statement.

At the same time, the international firm pointed out that the accuracy of the automated election system (AES) in the last national polls has been approved by election stakeholders.

“The automated system’s accuracy has been consistently proven, validated by Comelec’s records, Random Manual Audits, and independent audits and recounts by watchdogs like LENTE (Legal Network for Truthful Elections) and PPCRV (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting),” it said.

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“The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has the resources and facts to affirm the election results as voted by the Filipino people, upholding the legitimacy of elected leaders in the Philippines, from the highest office of President Marcos to local officials,” the company added.

Smartmatic also said its record is clean in its 23-year history as it has not been indicted in any country as far as elections or contracts are concerned, contrary to what it called are “false claims.”

“This information can be verified on the US Department of Justice website by searching for Comelec or Smartmatic,” the statement read.

In June, former Department of Information and Communications Technology chief Eliseo Rio Jr., former Comelec commissioner Augusto Lagman, Franklin Fayloga Ysaac, and Leonardo Odono filed the petition against Smartmatic.

Smartmatic “failed to comply with certain minimum system capabilities that resulted in serious and grave irregularities in the transmission and receipt of election return” during the 2022 polls, the petitioners said. 

The seven-man Commission en banc has yet to rule on the petition.

The AES for the 2025 midterm national polls is worth PHP18.8 billion. Submission of bidding documents will be from Nov. 28 to Dec. 12.

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