SC asks Comelec, Miru Systems to comment on petition to annul P17.9 billion contract

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
SC asks Comelec, Miru Systems to comment on petition to annul P17.9 billion contract
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STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:43 p.m.) — The Supreme Court (SC) has required the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to comment in the petition seeking to annul the  P17.9 billion contract awarded to the South Korea-based election service provider Miru Systems for the 2025 elections. 

Among the respondents who were also asked by the high court to respond to the petition is the joint venture of Miru Systems Co. Ltd., Integrated Computer Systems, St. Timothy Construction Corporation and Centerpoint Solutions Technologies, Inc.

An order to comment is part of the SC's procedures in handling cases or petitions.

The SC has given the respondents ten days to comment.

In a message to the members of the press, Comelec Chairman George Garcia said that they were "elated" that the SC did not issue any injunctive writ.

"Our preparations for the automated 2024 National and Local Elections will proceed as scheduled in view of a very tight timeline we have," Garcia said in the message sent on Viber.

Meanwhile, the petition was filed by former lawmaker Egay Erice asking the SC to review the awarding of the contract along with a temporary restraining order against Comelec and the joint venture.

On April 17, the SC said that Comelec had committed a grave abuse of discretion after it disqualified election service provider Smartmatic for the 2025 automated election system bid.

It said that the poll body has committed grave abuse of discretion as it disqualified Smartmatic before its submission of any bid without any reference to the eligibility requirements prescribed by its Bids and Awards Committee.

However, the SC ruling is not sufficient to nullify the contract between the poll body and Miru Systems citing "considerations of equity, justice, practicality and doctrine of operative fact."

The doctrine of operative fact refers to a legal principle that recognizes the validity and effects of certain acts or events that occurred before a law was declared unconstitutional or before a judgment was overturned.

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