SC to tackle PCOS purchase petitions

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2012 04:05 PM | Updated as of Jun 12 2012 12:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio on Monday said the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) P1.8 billion purchase of Smartmatic-TIM's precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines is among the priority cases the Supreme Court (SC) will have to resolve soon.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the high court's 111th anniversary celebration, Carpio said petitions questioning the constitutionality of the controversial purchase will be in the June 13 en banc session agenda.

"We have do decide on that case soon because the Comelec will have to prepare [for the 2013 polls] one way or the other," he said.

The SC has yet to act on petitions contesting the P1.8-billion deal with the Netherlands-based Smartmatic-Total Information Management’s (TIM).

Last April, the SC issued a temporary restraining order on the P1.8-billion deal.

Lawmakers, led by Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr.,  have rallied behind the Comelec’s move to “exercise the option to purchase” the PCOS machines that the poll body rented from Smartmatic-TIM in 2010.