TAGBILARAN CITY – Many sectors, including the Commission on Elections (Comelec), expressed fears over the integrity in the conduct of the presidential elections next year. This came following the Supreme Court issuance last week of a temporary restraining order (TRO) halting the “PhP 268-million negotiated contract between the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM for the diagnostics, repair and refurbishment of the PCOS machines.”
Comelec said in a news report it’s risky using the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines again on May 2016 without undergoing the necessary repair. If the High Court would not resolve the impasse between Comelec and the said company providing the PCOS the soonest time possible, then the Comelec would be forced to go back to manual voting and counting, Atty. Eliseo Labaria, provincial election supervisor, said.
And there’ll be fraud as in the past elections using manual vote and canvassing, he added. But he pins hope that the Court would resolve it.
Reports said that in the event that the SC refuses to allow the PCOS reuse, the Comelec has contingency plan for it.
And Comelec is not giving up on computerized polls, it is eyeing to tap the 23,000 optical mark reader (OMR) units, the report said. The Comelec said it “will adopt the Central Count Optical Scan (CCOS) system if the OMR machines will be used.” (rvo)