Press Release
May 21, 2009

Chiz to Comelec: Reveal incorporators of remaining bidders now

Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo to reveal the names of the incorporators of the remaining bidders for the P11.3-billion automation contract.

"It is about time for the Comelec disclose the names of the people running the consortiums whatever their decision maybe on their bids," he said in a statement.

Escudero, who is chair of the Senate oversight committee on poll automation, said Chairman Melo himself agreed that there was nothing wrong with releasing the documents of the bidders to the public.

"Chairman Melo did say that he wants 'as much as many people as possible looking over the (Comelec's) shoulders'," he said, referring to statements made by Melo during a hearing of the committee last April.

Escudero said by revealing the names of the incorporators at this stage, the Comelec will remove lingering doubts about the way the poll body is conducting the bidding for the single, biggest government project.

Only one bidder, Smartmatic International and Total Information Management Corp., has passed the technical screening of the bidding committee. Two other bidders -- Sequioa Voting Systems and Universal Storefront Services Corp.; and Filipinas Systems, Gilat Satellite Network and EE Cruz and Co. - have asked the poll body to reconsider their disqualification.

Smartmatic/TIM submitted a bid of P7 billion for the poll automation project as against the 11.2 billion tendered by the group of Indra Sistemas, Strategic Alliance Holdings and Hart Intercivic.

Escudero also urged the Comelec to inform the people about its alternative plans should there be a failure of bidding.

"The Comelec should not be sending out smoke signals or releasing cryptic statements about its alternative plans. The people want clear and straightforward statements on how things stand," he said.

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