'Duterte's call to replace Smartmatic shows his frustration on poll irregularities'


Posted at Jun 12 2019 12:37 AM

A Philippine election official believes President Rodrigo Duterte's call to replace Smartmatic, the country's vote-counting machine provider, is a reflection of his frustration over the perceived irregularities in the midterm polls.

Speaking to ANC's "Beyond Politics," Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Luie Tito Guia said it is important that votest trust the election process.

"He is the president. He represents the country. He is popular. It may be a reflection of a sense of frustration, perhaps, whether real or unreal, true or not. It's an expression of frustration," he said.

"In election, it's not just the actual performance of the tools that you used in counting and aggregating votes. It's the confidence that people will have in the results," Guia added. 

He also said Comelec is studying proposals for future polls, including calls to go back to a manual system of elections.

"We are studying those suggestions, as the other suggestions that have been forwarded to us, it's not just the president, there are other groups suggesting that we do away with Smartmatic, some are saying we do away with optical scanning process," Guia said.

"Pinag-aaralan po namin. Personally, to me, this is me, the bottomline is people will have to trust the result of the process. If they can trust manual election, then so be it. If they will trust automated election better, then so be it. Machines are just tools. The bottomline is getting to count accurately, or getting the people to believe that their votes are properly recorded," he added.

The [oll body earlier reported an over 99 percent accuracy rate in the past automated elections based on the Comelec's random manual audit.