The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is expected to decide today whether to disqualify Smartmatic from participating in the public bidding for the new automated elections system to be used in the 2025 midterm polls.
Comelec Chair George Garcia said he and the six Comelec commissioners are ready to resolve the petition against Smartmatic, which had been the country’s poll technology provider since the shift to automatic elections in 2010.
“This one’s final. Hopefully by Wednesday, we will be able to come out with our decision,” Garcia told reporters on Tuesday.
“We want to promulgate the decision before the submission of all bidding documents” from participating contractors, he added.
The deadline for submission of bids, and the opening of bids for the Comelec’s full automation system with transparency audit and count contract, is on Nov. 28.
On Oct. 17, the Comelec commissioners conducted a public hearing on the petition filed last June to disqualify Smartmatic as a prospective bidder for the 2025 election automation project.
Former Comelec Commissioner Augusto Lagman, former Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr., retired Col. Leonardo Odoño, and former Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines president Franklin Ysaac had asked Comelec to declare Smartmatic ineligible to participate in the bidding citing “serious and grave irregularities in the transmission and receipt of election returns” in last year’s presidential and national elections. INQ