GMA News Online – Comelec: Local suppliers with enough automated poll experience yet to come out

By Llanesca T. Panti | GMA News Online

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is not keen on tapping local technology providers for automated elections for now as none has come out yet with the required experience for it, according to its spokesman on Friday.

“The law says they (local suppliers) should have been used in previous political exercise. The problem that we have encountered in the past nine years is that the local suppliers do not have the required experience,” said Dir. James Jimenez at a press briefing.

President Rodrigo Rodrigo has already advised Comelec to drop Smartmatic — the Venezuela-based technology provider in the automated elections — and pick a replacement that is “free from fraud.”

Poll watchdog National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) said Duterte’s pronouncement has opened an opportunity for the Comelec to look for local technology providers.

At Friday’s briefing, Jimenez said the Automated Election System law states that the automated election system procured by the Comelec “must have demonstrated capability and been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise here or abroad.”

“The law does not prevent the local suppliers, but to limit the options of the nation to local supplier might not be the best or legal solution,” he said. —KBK, GMA News

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