THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday that it has approved the pilot-testing of touchscreen and Internet voting sytems in Pateros, Metro Manila, and select sea-based Filipinos during the 2016 elections. Both Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes and the Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting head, Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, disclosed during separate interviews that the poll body has already issued a resolution formalizing the commissioners’ consensus to test the touchscreen and Internet voting systems. “We have already issued a resolution, which is to use all the 410 Direct Recording Electronic [DRE] units in Pateros since it fits the requirements of pilot-testing,” Brillantes said. Meanwhile, Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. has to overcome yet another legal challenge in order to advance to the next stage of the bidding for additional voting machines for use in the 2016 national elections. This after the bids and awards committee of the Commission on Elections was asked to exclude the Venezuelan firm from the proceedings on grounds of eligibility.
Lawyer Archibald Demata, counsel for Indra Sistemas SA, said the joint-venture company was not eligible to bid for having submitted legally infirm qualification documents.
“We have filed [a manifestation] before the actual demonstration because we believe that Smartmatic-TIM should not be allowed to proceed in the bidding because of that problem,” Demata told newsmen during a break in the BAC proceedings on Friday.
Specifically, Demata pointed to Smartmatic’s Articles of Incorporation filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) back in 2009, describing its joint venture with local partner TIM for the primary purpose of offering its services for the automation of the Philippine national election in 2010.