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Comelec looking for OMR machines warehouse outside Metro Manila

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking for a warehouse outside Metro Manila where the 93,977 optical mark reader (OMR) machines to be used in the 2016 polls will be stored.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna where the 81,896 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines are kept could no longer accommodate the OMR units.

“We have a group that is going to Clark, Pampanga to check three warehouses. We are also looking in other places, as long as it is 100 kilometers away from Metro Manila,” Bautista said.

The Comelec has allocated a budget of P89 million to lease a warehouse for the OMR units.

Bautista assured the public that the timeline for the delivery of the OMR machines would not be affected by the transfer of the manufacturing site of the units from China to Taiwan.

“The machines will be delivered in the Philippines by Jan. 31, 2016,” he said.

Earlier, the Comelec asked Smartmatic-Total Information Management to transfer the manufacturing site of the OMR machines from Suzhou to Taiwan after receiving intelligence reports that China might attempt to sabotage the May 2016 presidential elections.

The poll body expects Smartmatic to deliver an initial 10 OMR units this month to be used for demonstration.

Meanwhile, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said there was no truth to the claims of a Comelec official that China might try to sabotage the 2016 general elections.

 Trillanes, chairman of the Senate oversight committee on intelligence and confidential funds, said there was no basis for the information disclosed by Comelec Commissioner Robert Christian Lim during the hearing on the poll body’s 2016 budget in the House of Representatives.

“We asked our sources, our intelligence network and there is no such thing,” Trillanes said in a radio interview.

“How will they sabotage it? Who among the candidates will benefit from this?” he said.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, chairman of the joint congressional oversight committee on the automated election system, downplayed the information and asked the poll body to just focus on its preparations for the next year’s elections. – With Marvin Sy

ACIRC

ANTONIO TRILLANES

AQUILINO PIMENTEL

BAUTISTA

COMELEC

COMELEC CHAIRMAN ANDRES BAUTISTA

COMELEC COMMISSIONER ROBERT CHRISTIAN LIM

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

METRO MANILA

SMARTMATIC-TOTAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

TRILLANES

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