Erap: Something fishy in TIM-Smartmatic pact


Posted at Jul 04 2009 11:32 PM | Updated as of Jul 05 2009 07:32 AM

Former President Joseph Estrada thinks Filipino firm Total Information Management Corp. (TIM) was paid off or was given concessions to remain a partner of Dutch company Smartmatic in the automation of the 2010 elections.

“Something is fishy there,” said Estrada in an interview Friday during his visit to Zamboanga del Sur as part of  his Lakbay Pasasalamat.

Early this week, TIM declared it was pulling out of the joint venture, but after a make-or-break meeting with Smarmatic and Commission on Election (Comelec) officials on Friday, it decided to stay on.

Estrada said he has information that TIM wanted out of the partnership because there were anomalies in Smartmatic's systems.

He added that TIM’s decision to push through with the project came as a surprise to him.

“I don't know if there is some money or some consideration involved.. Everybody is surprised,” said Estrada.

Estrada said Comelec should reveal details of the meeting, echoing fears the 2010 polls may be rigged.

Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, meanwhile, said an investigation must be conducted to determine what transpired during the meeting on Friday.

Comelec spokesman Atty. James Jimenez denied that there was a payoff involved in the reconciliation of TIM and Smartmatic.

He, however, admitted that the renewal of the partnership between the two companies was “internal”.

Jimenez said Comelec is not privy to the details of the reconciliation. -- report from Sheryl Mundo, ABS-CBN News