Election execs face charges

Danilo Suarez

THE House minority bloc said yesterday criminal charges and impeachment complaints could be lodged against some Commission on Elections commissioners over the glitches during the last midterm polls.

House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said they want some commissioners of the Comelec to face accountability following numerous complaints about the inefficiency of Venezuelan-owned poll technology provider Smartmatic’s vote counting machines, several hundreds of which malfunctioned, raising some doubts on the integrity of the May 13 midterm elections.

Earlier, House senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza expressed his full support for President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s statement telling the Comelec to “dispose of” Smartmatic, which has been providing the automated counting machines for the past four elections.

Suarez said some commissioners could face plunder complaint if there is truth to the alleged anomalies in the bidding process.

“Filing a case may be one option that we can do,” said Suarez, chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts.

In the same press conference, ACTS OFW party-list Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III, said possible impeachment complaints could be filed against some Comelec officials.

Coop Natcco Rep. Anthony Bravo, Bertiz and Suarez expressed belief that nothing will happen in the possible filing of an election protest.

“Madaling sabihin na habulin… wala pa hong nag-protest at the national level (na nag-succeed), tatlong taon lang ho ‘yan tapos election na naman,” said Bravo.

During the recent hearings of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Suarez, Bertiz and Bravo questioned the poll body’s ballot optimization rationale that was behind its decision to put at the back of ballots the names of party-list groups.

According to them, the decision resulted in disenfranchisement as many failed to cast their votes.