House minority questions Comelec's decision to purchase 2016 vote counting machines

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2018 08:11 PM

A woman feeds her accomplished test ballot during the final testing and sealing (FTS) of vote counting machines (VCMs) at Pastulan Village, Hermosa, Bataan, Friday, May 6, 2016. 
Jun Dumaguing, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The House Minority has called for an investigation into the Commission on Elections's (Comelec) decision to purchase the vote-counting machines used in the 2016 elections for the mid-term elections next year.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez on Wednesday said the probe comes amid allegations of cheating in the national and local levels during the 2016 elections.

“We have seen the most number of election protests and contests filed... We cannot help but question, why would the Comelec purchase from the same supplier, the same units which were used in the contentious 2016 elections?" he said. 

Vote-counting machines used in the 2016 polls were supplied by technology provider Smartmatic. 

The company faced criticism after the controversial alteration of the script of the Transparency Server of the Automated Election System during the elections.

Suarez noted former Senator Bongbong Marcos' poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo and cited the late dictator's recent presentation of photos of ballots allegedly showing that cheating occurred in certain areas where he claimed to have won during the 2016 polls.

“It behooves us now to conduct the appropriate investigations in aid of legislation, to determine whether the commission and Smartmatic have been, and continue to be equal to the task of maintaining honest elections," Suarez said.