May 20, 2013
The poll watchdog group Kontra Daya today said that it is not the alleged conspiracy between election watchdogs that is the problem but the “conspiracy between Comelec and Smartmatic in undermining the elections using taxpayer’s money.”
The group made the statement in reaction to a warning by Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes that he will go after the various critics of the Automated Election System now that the elections are over.
“The real conspiracy we should be worried about is between Comelec and Smartmatic. It is the conspiracy that allowed P1.8 billion in taxpayer’s money to be used to purchase the PCOS machines even if they are unreliable. It is the conspiracy to cover up the widespread machine failures and transmission problems that occurred during the elections. It is the conspiracy to shun accountability for the problem of the AES. It is the conspiracy to trump transparency and integrity,” said Kontra Daya convenor Fr. Joe Dizon.
“Comelec should welcome and not attack the critics of the AES. The criticisms are necessary if we want to have a better system. The reason none of the watchdogs are praising Comelec and Smartmatic is because the problems persisted, if not worsened in 2013,” he added.
Kontra Daya said that from the start of the May 13 elections and its immediate aftermath, both Comelec and Smartmatic have been singing the same tune, that the polls went smoothly and that the results delivered were fast and credible.
“Comelec should be beholden to the people, not to any foreign corporation like Smartmatic. When 30% of the PCOS machines fail to transmit votes, Comelec should be the first to raise hell against Smartmatic. The problem is that Comelec willfully entered into a problematic agreement with a foreign private corporation, effectively surrendering a sovereign function to a foreign entity and ending up defending a questionable system,” said Kontra Daya’s Prof. Gani Tapang.
“We will be studying what legal options taxpayers have so that there will be accountability for the failures and problems that marked the 2013 elections,” Tapang said.