By Mayen Jaymalin | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — The National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) is supporting the proposal to ban Smartmatic International from supplying vote counting machines (VCM) to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for next year’s polls.
The House of Representatives has announced that it would move for the rejection of the Comelec’s budget for 2019 if the poll body would not replace Smartmatic as its VCM provider.
Members of the minority bloc cited alleged lapses and irregularities committed by Smartmatic in the past elections.
“Smartmatic’s VCMs are not transparent as required by law. There is even suspicion that the machines were used in past elections to cheat. That’s the problem when a system is not transparent,” Namfrel chairman Gus Lagman said.
Last December, Comelec purchased more than 97,000 VCMs from Smartmatic for P2.1 billion.