THE Venezuela-based Smartmatic will trigger “war” if the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will continue to deal with them as the country’s poll technology provider for the upcoming 2022 elections.
The overwhelming number of conscientious public objections -- lawmakers, church clergies and poll watchdogs, including the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) and Kontra Daya — unanimously backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to perpetually ban Smartmatic and look for a system free of fraud for the next elections.
The sanctity and credibility of the elections should not be compromised to avoid unrest from the different sectors of the society.
“If you use that in the next election three years from now I don’t know what will happen,” Duterte said in his speech before the Filipino community in Tokyo, Japan recently.
The President believed that Smartmatic should be replaced because the issues that plagued the 2019 midterm polls are the same problems hounding the credibility of the elections held in 2010, 2013 and 2016.
Duterte said Smartmatic “promotes cheating” and it is not acceptable for him, to the people and even to the lawmakers.
Meanwhile, several organized groups lamented Comelec and called for President Duterte to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all officials responsible for the bidding process of the election automation that involves Smartmatic.
According to them, Comelec’s bidding specifications prohibit bidders from subcontracting major components of a bidder’s offered system.
The government should review if Smartmatic is the rightful owner of the system and technology being provided to the automated elections in the country.
According to sources, Smartmatic was sued in the United States for alleged usurpation of the rights over the technology by Dominion Voting Systems of Canada, the rightful owner of the source code used to operate the vote counting machines.
Moreover, Jarltech in Taiwan was contracted by Smartmatic to manufacture the vote counting machines.
“If this information is true, Smartmatic is only a middleman and not qualified to be a service provider,” said one of the religious group convenors who requested anonymity.