MANILA – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Tuesday revealed that he approved the P268.8-million contract with Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp., three days before he steps down of his position to spite his critics.
The sealed agreement was lower by P31.2 million from the original amount presented by Smartmatic which is P300 million.
“Last Jan. 30, I signed the contract with Smartmatic despite all the criticisms. Despite all of the attacks, I still signed the deal with Smartmatic. I did not have to sign it but I signed it,” said Brillantes during his farewell speech.
He said that he is challenging those who are questioning the Comelec for getting the deal with Smartmatic to go to the Supreme Court (SC).
“The contract has not been signed but they kept on attacking us so I signed it. Now, I dare all of them to bring it up to the highest court of this land and I will fight for it up to the end,” Brillantes said.
He added that the agency is able to defend every provision in the contract given that the government will benefit from it.
Meanwhile, acting Comelec chief Christian Robert Lim said that Smartmatic approved the reduced contract price.
Aside from this, Smartmatic will also expand their services which will now include major repairs and replacement of destroyed machines.
“We got a good deal. It’s more of a win-win for us,” said Lim.
On Monday, Brillantes and Commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph retired and left four commissioners to run the agency. This include Lim, Luie Guia, Al Parreño and Arthur Lim.
The Palace will still appoint the replacements of the retired officials.