The Commission on Elections will hear the petition which seeks to ban service provider Smartmatic from the poll body’s procurement of machines and new automated election system (AES) for the Eleksyon 2025.
“We will schedule a formal hearing on the petition to [to disqualify] Smartmatic from [Comelec] procurement,” Comelec chairman George Garcia said in a Viber message to reporters.
Comelec spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said Garcia was referring to the petition filed by former Department of Information and Communications Technology chief Eliseo MIjares Rio Jr., Augusto Cadelina Lagman, Franklin Fayloga Ysaac, and Leonardo Olivera Odono.
The petition entitled “In the Matter of the Petition to Review the Qualifications of Smartmatic Philippines, Inc. as a Prospective Bidder in View of its Failure in the 2022 Elections to Comply with Certain Minimum System Capabilities that Resulted in Serious and Grave Irregularities in the Transmission and Receipt of Election Returns and, if warranted, to Disqualify Smartmatic from Participating in the Bidding for the 2025 Automated Election System” was filed on June 15.
“Bilang bahagi ng due process under the COMELEC Rules of Procedures, as amended, ay bibigyang utos ng COMELEC en banc ang Respondent Smartmatic na mag-comment sa naturang Petition at isumite ito sa COMELEC sa pamamagitan ng Clerk of the Commission bago ang pagdinig na itinakda sa susunod na linggo,” Laudiangco said.
(As part of due process under the Comelec Rules of Procedures, as amended, the Comelec en banc has ordered Respondent Smartmatic to comment on the filed petition and submit it to the Clerk of the Commission before the hearing that was set next week.)
Laudiangco said the Comelec would announce the exact date of the hearing in the next few days. –NB, GMA Integrated News