A patriotic call

June 04, 2019

INSTEAD of unifying the more than 100 million Filipino people, an election, which is “democracy in action,” may tear the nation apart if poll cheats manage to frustrate the will of the electorate.

Thus, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would do well to dump the poll technology provider Smartmatic following complaints about the efficiency of its vote counting machines (VCMs).

Tough-talking and crusading President Rodrigo R. Duterte had earlier called on the Comelec not to renew its contract with Venezuelan-owned poll technology provider Smartmatic

Note that several hundreds of VCMs malfunctioned in various parts of the country, raising some doubts on the integrity of the May 13 off-season national and local elections.

The camp of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., through lawyer Vic Rodriguez, said “it’s a patriotic call made by the President which we all should patriotically respond to.”

Rodriguez said that Sections 1 and 2 of Republic Act No. 9369, otherwise known as the Automated Election Law, provide the basis for disqualifying a company from public bidding.

“Malinaw na sinasaad na duty ng estado na makapaghanap ng isang system ng election na ang result will be fast, accurate and reflective of the genuine wishes of the people,” he said.

Under the Constitution, the poll body, with the help of other concerned government offices and agencies, is mandated to ensure the holding of clean, honest, orderly and credible elections.