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(Updated 3:31 p.m.) The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it is prepared to hold a public demonstration to show that automated voting machines it leased do not have glitches.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes made this assurance on Thursday, allaying concerns that the equipment, leased from Smartmatic, had defects that may be used for poll fraud.
"Ang paulit-ulit na akusasyon daw tungkol sa mga glitch na ito ay matagal na pinupukol sa kanila samantalang matagal na raw nilang naisa-isa ang mga problemang ito at na-correct mula pa noong 2010, [Repeated accusations that the machines have glitches have been resolved]," Brillantes said in a News 5 report.
At the same time, the Comelec Chief said he remains unable to comprehend the continuous criticisms leveled against the precinct count optical machines (PCOS) by ex-Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman.
"Hindi ba't siya ang IT expert? Anong ginawa niya noong nandito siya ng 10 months para maayos ang mga sinasabi niyang glitches? (Isn't he the IT expert? What has he been doing during the ten months that he was at the Comelec?)" Brillantes said.
Since the Supreme Court upheld the contract that the Comelec and Smartmatic entered into, the poll body is now prepared for a public demonstration of the machines, Brillantes added.
For his part, Lagman said that the Philippine IT community remains unconvinced that Smartmatic's PCOS machines are glitch-free.
"Nakumbinsi na nila ang Comelec noong 2010, ang bagong Comelec, ang Kongreso, pati ang SC ngayon. Puera na lang ang I.T. Community," he said.
He also insisted that the House of Representatives should continue to look into the features of the PCOS machines.
If left unchecked, the ex-Comelec commissioner expressed fears that poll fraud will go on unabated during the next elections.
"Pag di ito inayos, mauulit lang yung mga glitches noong 2010. Masuwerte tayo noong 2010 dahil malaki ang lamang ni PNoy. Paano kung dikit ang laban? (If these are not fixed, the same glitches that took place in 2010 will be repeated. We were lucky that during the 2010 polls, President Aquino had a substantial lead. What if it's a tight race?)," he asked. InterAksyon.com