Sammy F. Martin
MANILA, July 30 (PNA) — Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares on Thursday said Commission on Elections (COMELEC) should consider all possible scenario including power shortage in 2016 even as the commission yet again awarded a Php1.7B precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines deal that requires electricity.
“Comelec admitted during the hearing that they have approved a Php3 Billion contract to buy Smartmatics PCOS machines without considering the energy situation, may endanger the 2016 elections despite knowing PCOS machines require a stable supply of electricity.
He said Mindanao, even Visayas provinces are experiencing brown outs, and Pres. Aquino even asked for emergency powers because of alleged lack of supply in Luzon.
“The Comelec has not checked with the Department of Energy (DOE) if the energy situation would improve significantly in 2016 because as it is the department is still saying that the power situation even in Luzon is still very critical. Are they going to gamble with the right to vote of Filipinos and disenfranchise millions because of their obsession with the PCOS?” said Senior Deputy Minority Leader Colmenares.
“Failure of elections may happen if the Comelec and the DOE cannot assure that there will be stable supply of electricity in 2016,”he added.
According to the progressive solon, they have always supported automated elections because of the fraud that happens in fully manual elections, but if there will be brownouts all over the country in 2016, we will be wasting billions in buying useless PCOS machines.
“I hope that the COMELEC would not waste the people’s money again on Smartmatic’s PCOS because it also has a lot of transparency and malfunction issues since 2010. If there will be massive brownouts, instead of spending money on the PCOS the budget for this should be used to double the pay of teachers serving as board of election inspectors,” he stressed. (PNA)