MANILA — An influential Church leader has supported the call not to allow Smartmatic from further participating in any election-related activities of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in connection with the 2016 national and local polls.
“As a registered voter, and therefore a participant to the 2016 elections, I will do my moral and natural obligation by participating as early as now by going to court to disqualify Smartmatic,” said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop emeritus Oscar Cruz said.
The Catholic prelate said that he is doing it under the“principle of participation” which is meant to safeguardand promote the rightful concerns and just interests of everyone involved.
Cruz met with conveners of the Citizens for CleanAnd Credible Elections (C3E) at the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), where he also expressed support for the group’s legal efforts to blacklist Smartmatic.
C3E have asked the Comelec-Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to blacklist the service-provider in the 2010 and2013 polls from participating in the bidding for the automated election system (AES) to be used in the next national polls.
Smartmatic has joined in the bidding for the AES andrefurbishment of counting machines for use in the 2016national polls.
The archbishop’s support came in the heels of the submission of Atty. Archibald Demata, legal counsel for Indra Sistemas S.A., of the evidence of Smartmatic-TIM’s articles of incorporation, which confirm that its primary purpose was “for the automation of the 2010 national and local elections.”
“Since, the purpose for which Smartmatic TIM was formed and organized is limited, specific and restricted to the Request for Proposal and the Notice of Award issued by the COMELEC for the automation of the 2010 national and local elections in the Philippines, to allow the continued participation of Smartmatic TIM in the 2016 national and local elections, whether on its own or as a member of any JV [joint venture], would be to sanction an illegal or ultra vires act by Smartmatic TIM,” he said.
Meanwhile, Smartmatic-TIM reiterated that their competitors are engaging in a smear campaign against them.
“It seems, however, that our competitor is grasping at straws, looking for trivial technicalities to try to disqualify Smartmatic-TIM. This is to be expected, following their dismal performance at the technical tests, where they failed to pass at least 121 of the 408 requirements of the Comelec-BAC,” said Cesar Flores, Smartmatic President for Asia Pacific.