MANILA — The Palace said the May 2016 general elections must push through despite the scrapping of a deal on the repair of voting machines, which could disrupt election preparations.
“The election should push through. It is constitutionally mandated and everybody should comply with the Constitution. We are very certain that the Comelec (Commission on Elections) is very aware of its mandated role of making sure that elections happen in 2016,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters during Wednesday’s press briefing in Malacañang.
Lacierda was responding to questions regarding concerns that next year’s election could be postponed after the Supreme Court nullified the PHP268.8 million contract between the Comelec and Smartmatic-Total Information Management for the repair of 82,000 voting machines.
According to the Supreme Court, the Comelec had violated the procurement law when it directly hired Smartmatic-TIM for the maintenance of the voting machines instead of holding a public bidding.
“We have an existing law on automated elections, so we expect Comelec to comply with all existing laws,” Lacierda said.
“As to the technical concerns, we will leave it with Comelec to make sure how to operationalize the 2016 elections in the light of the Supreme Court decision,” he said.
Under the Constitution, the presidential and vice presidential elections occur every second Monday of May, every sixth year after May 1992.