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New AES provider continues to face scrutiny despite award

Digital Pinoys

The newly awarded provider for the 2025 national and local elections continues to face scrutiny despite securing the notice of award from the Commission on Elections.

Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that the group will continue to scrutinize the winning entities even though Miru Systems Co. Ltd. was already declared as the winning bidder for the P18.8 billion FASTrAC procurement project for the 2025 National and Local Elections. The South Korean firm entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with St. Timothy Construction Corporation, Integrated Computer Systems, and Counterpoint Solutions Technologies, Inc.

“There have been so many concerns coming from Miru System’s previous engagements in automated elections for other countries which is now being the subject of scrutiny by lawmakers and cause-oriented groups. The issues are very concerning as it may put into question the integrity of the upcoming elections.”

Gustilo said that Miru system’s previous experience with automated elections should have prompted the Commission on Elections to ensure that the winning bidder is qualified and capable of meeting the rigorous requirements for conducting clean, transparent, and honest elections. In a recent hearing of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, lawmakers and resource persons alleged the involvement of Miru Systems in technological glitches during its recent election deployments.

“It’s as if the COMELEC hasn’t learned from our previous experiences. Why did they award the contract to a company with a questionable track record and a construction firm as a local partner? Shouldn’t this be a red flag? How will they address the problems from our previous automated election experiences?”

Gustilo also questioned the credentials of St. Timothy Construction Corporation, one of the local partners of Miru Systems for the automated election system for the 2025 National and Local Elections.

“St. Timothy Construction Corporation, as the name implies, is a construction company. We find it hard to understand what role a construction company would have in the conduct of automated elections. There will be no infrastructure construction involved in this project, and the company is not engaged in any trade related to IT systems or computer hardware.”

The P18.8 billion project includes the lease of 110,000 automated counting machines, 104,345 ballot boxes, 2,200 consolidated canvassing system servers, laptops, and printers. It also includes 73,000 ballot papers for printing and validation. Former lawmaker Edgar Erice, representing the political party Aksyon Demokratiko, also stated that the machine to be used for the 2025 National and Local Elections is a prototype, and the Philippines will be the first country to test the machine, which is prohibited by Republic Act 9369.

Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys, National Campaigner