Press Release
June 23, 2009


Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over the failure of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to answer questions regarding its preparedness as well as the capability of the winning bidder Smartic-TIM to conduct automated elections in 2010.

Escudero, who heads the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes and laws, made the remarks after conducting the hearing on the poll automation attended by officials of the winning bidder Smartmatic-TIM and the Commission on Elections (Comelec.)

"I am still waiting to be convinced by Smartmatic and the Comelec that they can conduct a credible and fail-safe automated election next year," he said.

"I am not against poll automation. I just want to ensure that there will be no failure of elections. The future of our democracy rests on this exercise," Escudero said.

In the same hearing, Escudero asked the Comelec to submit all necessary papers including the proposed contract with Smartmatic-TIM for review by the committee.

The committee also asked the Smartmatic-TIM for 24 hours during which the Senate general counsel will review the papers.

"We want to make sure that there is nothing illegal, unconstitutional, and uncalled for in the contract," Escudero said. "We don't want a repeat of the Mega-Pacific deal."

Escudero also said that the next hearing on the poll automation process will include their counterparts in the Lower House.

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