Oversight Committee to summon Comelec, Smartmatic – Chiz
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY –
Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday said the joint congressional
oversight committee will summon officials of the Commission on
Elections (Comelec) and the remaining bidder to answer questions on
the poll counting machines to be used for the 2010 elections.
“Now that it seems
there will be a winning bidder, it would be good to hear from them the
answers to simple questions related to the implementation of the poll
automation,” he said.
Escudero, who is
co-chair of the oversight committee, said the hearing will be held in
the next two weeks and will focus on the technology and capability of
the winning bidder to effectively and fully implement the automation
of the elections.
“I still have to be
convinced that poll automation will be fail-safe. In a
closely-contested election, there can be no margin for error. We
cannot afford to have a repeat of 2004,” he said.
Escudero has called
for partial automation of the elections, warning that the country was
not prepared to conduct full automation at this time.
Only the consortium of
Smartmatic and Total Information Management Corp. (TIM) remains in the
running for the P11.3-billion automation contract. On Monday, the AMA
Group of Companies and Election System and Software (ES&S) withdrew
its bid offer, complaining that the SBAC changed the bid requirements
too late in the process.
SBAC chair Ferdinand
Rafanan has said that he expect the committee to submit its
recommendations after the post-qualification screening is completed
early this week.