By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times
Some people might revolt if Smartmatic continues to handle the country’s elections, President Rodrigo Duterte warned as he insisted that the technology provider be dropped by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
A single lost vote could “foment” unrest, he said at a Thursday evening Eid’l Fitr celebration in Davao City.
“Sabi ko maghanap kayo nang bago na walang palpak ni isang boto (I said look for someone new who will not waste even one vote),” Duterte said.
“Kapag … may isang Maranao nag sige yawyaw diyan, hindi na magtahimik ‘yan lalo nang madaya (If there is one Maranao that starts complaining, he will not be silenced especially if he has been cheated),” he added.
Duterte warned that a Maranao politician could call for a revolt if cheating occured.
Imitating a Maranao accent, he said:”Nanalo man kami bakit ngayon wala kami sa pwesto? O hindi na pwede ito. Patayan na. Sige mag-revolt ka na lang, mayor. Magsali kami sa revolutionary government… (We won but why aren’t we in office? This cannot be. Let’s resort to killing instead. Let’s launch a revolt, mayor. We will join a revolutionary government,…).”
Duterte was formerly mayor of Davao City before he won the presidency in 2016.
Government forces, he said, would be prompted to put a revolt down.
“Eh paano ‘yang mga generals? Hindi naman papayag. Makulong tayong lahat (What about the generals? They will not allow it. We will all land in jail),” he said.
Speaking to Filipinos in Japan last month, Duterte called on Comelec to “dispose of” Smartmatic following opposition allegations of fraud during the May 13 midterm elections and lost votes in the 2016 presidential polls.
Smartmatic has been the Comelec’s technology provider since the country shifted to automated elections in 2010. Every exercise since then has experienced glitches, with the latest involving faulty vote counting machines (VCMs) bought from the firm.
The poll body has said that Duterte’s call would be considered. It stressed, however, that the legal basis for junking Smartmatic should be established.
On Thursday, the it said the accuracy of the Smarmatic VCMs used last month was a record high 99.9953 percent, enough to dismiss the cheating allegations.