Lawmaker asks SC to decide on the PCOS machine

A lawmaker today urged the Supreme Court to immediately resolve thecases filed against the Commission on Elections on the option topurchase the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines used in theMay 2010 polls.

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), author ofHouse Resolution 2487, said the Supreme Court has yet to decide on thepetitions which unfortunately hamper the ability of the Comelec tostart preparations for the coming elections.

Rodriguez cited the three separate petitions filed by the AutomatedElection System-Watch (AES-WATCH), the Solidarity for Sovereignty(S4S) and the group of Davao City Archbishop Fernando Capallaquestioning the legality of the contract between Comelec andSmartmatic Corporation for the purchase of more than 80,000 PCOSmachines for the May 2013 polls.

Rodriguez said the High Court should immediately act and rule on thethree petitions in order to give Comelec ample time to proceed withtheir preparations, whether it includes the purchase of the same PCOSmachines or go into an alternative for automated elections.

“Preparations by the Commission on Elections must already be in placeto ensure successful elections in 2013,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said there is less than a year left before the 2013 mid-term elections and about four months before the scheduled filing ofcertificates of candidacy on October 1 to 5, 2012 for those who willenter the electoral contests next year.

The House Committee on Suffrage held a public hearing recentlyallowing the Smartmatic representatives to demonstrate the capabilityof the PCOS machine to ensure its accuracy and integrity.

The demonstration involved a mock election with 1,000 ballots thatwere fed into a PCOS machine to determine the machines’ accuracy andreliability. Comelec representatives were on hand to conduct a ‘manualaudit’ on the ballots as against the results registered by the PCOSmachine.

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