A GROUP filed criminal and administrative charges against officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Smartmatic TIM Corp and Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) in relation to the May 10 elections.

In their complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman, the Philippine Computer Society (PCS) said the named respondent colluded and conspired in perpetrating anomalies during the first automated elections.

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Named respondent are poll chairman Jose Melo, commissioners Gregorio Larrazabal, Rene Sarmiento, Nicodemo Ferrer, Armando Velasco, Lucenito Tagle, and Elias Yusoph.

Also included in the charge sheet are Executive Director Jose Tolentino and Directors Ester Roxas and James Jimenez.

The TEC members, Commission on Information and Communication Technology chairman Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua, Timothy Diaz de Rivera, and Dennis Villorente were also charged.

On the part of the concessionaire, the complainant said Smartmatic Asia president Cesar Flores and electoral systems manager Heider Garcia should also be investigated along with their Filipino partners, Jose Mari Antunez and Nilo Cruz of TIM.

“The respondents by their documented actions clearly committed illegal acts which caused irreparable damage to the government and ultimately to the Filipino people,” the group in their complaint said.

They said that Comelec and Smartmatic have entered in the P7.2-billion contract which they claimed is prejudicial to the government.

PCS noted that the Comelec officials violated procurement laws when they downgraded several security features of the automated elections system.

“By eliminating the use of ultra-violet sensor in the PCOS and by not requiring Board of Election Inspectors to enter their security number before the transmission of the results, the poll body and its partners demonstrated a complete non-commitment to public interest," the group said.

They cited the purchase of P30-million worth of handheld ultraviolet readers that will identify ultraviolet marks on the ballot but were not use during the Election Day. (FP/Sunnex)