MANILA, Philippines - An election lawyer said the Supreme Court can’t stop the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in using anew the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines for the next elections.
In a text message, poll lawyer Romulo Macalintal said: “Comelec’s action on the purchase and use of PCOS machines involves the exercise of its administrative function, hence, not within the power of the SC to review as the latter is limited to appeals involving Comelec’s exercise of its quasi-judicial power.”
Election watchdog Automated Election System (AES) earlier said it will ask the high court to nullify the contract between the poll body and the Smartmatic-Total Information Management for the purchase deal worth P1.8 billion.
Macalintal said, “Comelec has the recognized expertise on matters relating to the use of machines and instruments to carry out its functions which SC or any other agency cannot intervene.”
He said some complaints regarding the purchase refer only to technical defects of the PCOS machines.
He said the defects have not even been proven “to have affected the accuracy of the ballot counts and consolidation of results in the election returns and certificates of canvass.”