Imee wants end to Smartmatic 'dominance' in PH

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 09 2019 01:25 PM

MANILA - Sen. Imee Marcos filed a bill seeking to end the “dominance” of automated election system provider Smartmatic in the Philippine election system.

Marcos filed Senate Bill 221 which seeks to strike out a provision in Republic Act 9369 or the Election Automation Law, which states that the election technology provider in the Philippine elections should have “demonstrated capability and had been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise here or abroad.”

The neophyte senator said this provision has put Comelec in “bondage” with the Venezuelan-owned firm.

"It narrowed the field of qualified service providers to Smartmatic alone and negates the entire purpose of setting other technical requirements in choosing an AES provider," Marcos said in a statement.

Marcos said amending the automated elections law would "pave the way for more transparent elections.”

Marcos’ brother, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., had accused Smartmatic of manipulating the result of the 2016 vice-presidential race to favor his opponent, Leni Robredo. His electoral protest is currently being heard by the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

President Rodrigo Duterte last May also advised the Comelec to not use Smartmatic in the next elections, as he asked for a new technology provider “that is free of fraud.”