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Smartmatic: Noynoy’s troublesome white elephant

June 04, 2019 - Tuesday 4:06 AM by Erwin Tulfo

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The issue on the calls for junking Smartmatic should be a no-brainer for the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The President honors the independence of the Comelec as a constitutional body, which is why he referred to it as his “co-equal” when he suggested that Smartmatic be replaced with a more reliable one.

Manong Digong merely echoed the public sentiment over the poor performance of a company that is based in Venezuela, of all places.

His recommendation was welcomed by lawmakers, including Senate President Tito Sotto and Senator Koko Pimentel, and watchdog groups like National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel).

As in previous national polls, Smartmatic’s automated election system (AES) proved to be inefficient. Hundreds of its vote counting machines (VCMs) that literally looked like "trash bins" turned out to be defective as soon as polling centers opened last May 13.

Malacañang clarified that it is not questioning the credibility of the results of the midterm elections. However, too many “glitches” in automated counting and transmission of votes that delayed the Comelec canvassing is simply unacceptable.

Any delay in delivering the vote counts defeats the very purpose of using the automated election system, the reason for shifting to it from manual counting being to conduct the whole electoral process quickly with the least glitches.

The messy Smartmatic system is another white elephant and a legacy of the inutile Aquino administration that it used to rig previous elections in cahoots with the previous Comelec officials. But it failed to manipulate the insurmountable people’s support for Manong Digong in 2016 elections.

But it is widely believed that the same tactic was used in defrauding former Senator Bongbong Marcos of his supposed victory as Vice President-elect in favor of Liberal Party’s Leni Robredo.

Comelec went on to purchase Smartmatic’s VCMs despite reports that Smartmatic’s AES was used in rigging election for Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez and botched elections in Illinois, Nevada, and Mexico.

Smartmatic’s garbage that have cost Filipino taxpayers billions of pesos should be next to be shipped out of the country back to Venezuela.