Guingona, others file memorandum vs PCOS contract

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2012 01:22 AM | Updated as of May 19 2012 09:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona Jr. and his co-petitioners under the Automated Election System Watch (AESWatch) filed with the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday their memorandum on the case involving the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) alleged illegal purchase of Smartmatic-TIM's precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for P1.8 billion.

The group has petitioned for the nullification of the deed of sale between the poll body and the automated election systems provider inked on March 30, assailing the purchase as violative of the Procurement Act and tainted with "grave abuse of discretion" on the part of the Comelec.

In their memorandum, petitioners reiterated their position that the deed of sale should be nullified by the high court on the basis that the technology and facilities that will be used in next year's midterm polls should undergo public bidding.

"To begin with, it is clear and undisputed that the Option to Purchase... of the Automation Contract between Comelec and Smartmatic expired on Dec. 31, 2010," the memorandum stressed.

Because of this, petitioners argued that Smartmatic-TIM may not unilaterally extend any provision in the contract, specifically the provision on Option to Purchase.

The high court had issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the implementation of the deed of sale and conducted oral arguments on the petition of Guingona, et al. and 2 other group of petitioners last May 2 and May 8.