“If you use that in the next election three years from now I don’t know what will happen,” Duterte said in his speech before the Filipino community in Tokyo, Japan recently.
The President said he believed that Smartmatic should be replaced because the technical problems that plagued the 2019 midterm polls were the same ones experienced in 2010, 2013 and 2016.
President Duterte said Smartmatic “promotes cheating” and that was not acceptable.
In a speech during the celebration of Eid’l Fitr at Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Davao City, the chief executive expressed his concern that violence would erupt if massive poll fraud continued.
Duterte said that there is a possibility that a Maranao politician would call for war if the credibility of the election process was compromised.
Meanwhile, several organized groups called for Duterte to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law to all officials responsible for the bidding process that gave the contract to Smartmatic.
They said Comelec’s bidding specifications prohibit bidders from subcontracting major components of a bidder’s offered system.
Yet in the US, Smartmatic has to be sued for the alleged usurpation of rights over the technology by Dominion Voting Systems of Canada, the rightful owner of the source code used to operate the vote counting machines.
Moreover, Jarltech in Taiwan was contracted by Smartmatic to manufacture the vote counting machines.
“If this information is true, Smartmatic is only a middleman and not qualified to be a service provider,” one of the group’s conveners who requested anonymity said.
Since the country first implemented a nationwide automation of the elections in 2010, several election watchdogs have petitioned the poll body to blacklist Smartmatic from further participating in Comelec bids to prevent an election marred by glitches and questionable transmission.
There was compelling evidence that the 2010, 2013 and 2016 elections with Smartmatic as the technology provider were full of anomalies.
“Whether or not the suspicions against the integrity of Smartmatic are valid, the efficiency of the system is now put under question,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said before the joint congressional oversight committee held at the Senate.
Lacson believed that it is about time to look for other suppliers.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, head of the congressional oversight committee on the automated election system, agreed with Duterte on the need for a new system for the 2022 elections.