Comelec hits groups vs poll automation scheme
Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2013 - 2:37pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections on Monday belied allegations of several automated election critics that the software being used by the poll body is "pirated."

Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said that the Philippine Republic is the "true" and "legal" owner of the precinct count optical scan machines.

"Contrary to this lie, the Republic of the Philippines is the legal and true owner of the PCOS machines including the software installed therein," Brillantes said in his tweets.

Brillantes was reacting to the issue raised by election watchdog such as the AES Watch and Center for People Empowerment in Governance that the software being used by Comelec is not registered with the appropriate agencies.

The Comelec chief noted that the poll body bought the PCOS machines last Mar. 30, 2012, almost two months before US firm Dominion Voting Systems, which provided election technology, cancelled its contract hardwarde supplier, Smartmatic.

"Under the law, contractual obligations that have accrued prior to cancellation bind all parties, in this case both Dominion and Smartmatic. In other words, we became the legal owners of the machines and software even before cancellation and we remain as such even after.

"This is a basic rule on contracts that our non-lawyer critics don’t care to understand or which their lawyers did not explain to them," Brillantes said.

He said the so-called poll automation watchdogs' claims is just to sow public mistrust in the upcoming May 13 mid term elections.

"The continued assertion of falsehood by AES Watch, CENPEG et al aims nothing but to sow public mistrust and sabotage the upcoming elections.

"As we repeatedly reiterated to these people whom we are meeting for the last three years, just help us make the 2013 elections successful," Brillantes said. 

BRILLANTES COMELEC DOMINION AND SMARTMATIC DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS PEOPLE EMPOWERMENT PHILIPPINE REPUBLIC REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES SIXTO BRILLANTES JR. SMARTMATIC WATCH AND CENTER
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