Comelec to probe suppliers of defective markers, SD cards

Sofia Tomacruz

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Comelec to probe suppliers of defective markers, SD cards
Commission on Elections Chairman Sheriff Abas orders the poll body's Law Department to review suppliers' contracts

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will investigate the suppliers of voting materials used in the 2019 elections after glitches marred the polls.

In a press conference on Tuesday, May 14, Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas said he ordered the poll body’s Law Department to review the contracts of the following suppliers:

  • Triplex Enterprises Incorporated – ballot paper and marking pens
  • S1 Technologies Incorporated and Silicon Valley Computer Group joint venture – SD cards

Data from the Comelec’s bids and awards committee showed the contracts were worth P153.8 million and P22.6 million, respectively.

“Pinapareview ko na sa Law Department ‘yung magiging penalties in case, and if may violation ‘yung kontrata, but siyempre, kailangan rin natin marinig ang side nila,” Abas said.

(I’ve asked the Law Department to review the possible penalties in case, and if the contracts may have been violated, but of course, we have to hear their side.)

A host of problems occurred during the elections on Monday, May 13, such as defective vote-counting machines (VCMs), bleeding markers, SD cards that didn’t work, and the slow process of reporting unofficial results.

The Comelec earlier said VCMs could have malfunctioned due to the low quality of SD cards. Abas said 1,665 SD cards malfunctioned, accounting for 1.9% of the 85,000 SD cards used. (READ: Comelec says 961 vote-counting machines defective)

Bleeding pens also caused voters to worry that these would affect how VCMs read ballots and count votes.

Despite these problems, Abas said on Tuesday that the electoral process was “successful.” –

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers defense and foreign affairs. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz.