Saturday, September 25, 2021

Comelec to asses Smartmatic's liability in faulty VCMs

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) will assess the performance of its service provider Smartmatic International, particularly over the 2,300 machines that malfunctioned in the just concluded May 9 polls.

Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia said they will study the possibility of holding the company accountable on the machines that failed to function on Election Day.

"Of course, we will look into them and we would have to relate it to the issue of liability or accountability as provide by the Terms of Reference. That is in the contract," he said.

Guia added that they will include in the assessment the reports from the field regarding the glitches suffered in different polling precincts.

"We don't want any of these failures so we will really look into these reports," the poll body official said.

Guia noted that among the possible penalties is the withholding of portions of the payment to Smartmatic, amounting to about P8 billion.

On Monday, about 2.55 percent of the 92,509 VCMs had malfunctioned, with about 150 units being replaced.

In the 2013 elections, 4,760 out of 77,829 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines malfunctioned, 171 of which had to be replaced.

Meanwhile, the 2010 elections recorded 1,966 malfunctioning PCOS out of 76,347, and 205 of those were replaced. (FP/Sunnex)
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