Supreme Court orders Comelec, Miru to defend multi-billion deal for 2025 polls

Dwight de Leon

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Supreme Court orders Comelec, Miru to defend multi-billion deal for 2025 polls

DEMO. Commission on Elections Chairman George Garcia leads the testing and demonstration of new automated counting machines provided by the joint venture led by Miru Systems in Makati City, on May 21, 2024.


A former lawmaker asked the Supreme Court in April to stop the Comelec and Miru Systems from enforcing the high-value contract, but the High Court instead just directs the respondents to comment on the petition first

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the joint venture led by Korean firm Miru Systems to comment on a petition challenging the validity of their partnership – a contract worth P17.9 billion – for the 2025 elections.

The order, publicized by the High Court on Monday, May 27, was in response to a petition filed in April by former lawmaker Edgar Erice, who wanted the most expensive midterm polls contract nullified.

The Supreme Court, however, did not heed Erice’s request for a temporary restraining order, which would have prevented the Comelec from implementing its agreement with Miru Systems.

The poll body and the joint venture composed of Miru Systems and local partners Integrated Computer Systems, St. Timothy Construction Corporation, and Centerpoint Solutions Technologies have 10 days from the receipt of the order to comment on Erice’s petition.

The joint venture was the sole bidder for the most consequential contract of the 2025 elections.

For next year’s vote, Miru has the task of delivering 110,000 new automated counting machines, replacing the technology first introduced in the Philippines by longtime provider Smartmatic in 2010.

The Comelec had barred Smartmatic from participating in the bidding process for the 2025 polls due to a disqualification order against it, in connection with a 2016 alleged bribery scheme involving the company and former elections chairman Andres Bautista.

The Supreme Court said in April that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it disqualified the company from the bidding process, a decision that Smartmatic hailed as a “significant victory,” although the High Court did not nullify the awarding of the contract to Miru.

Established in 1999, Miru has had an imperfect and shaky record overseas, facing allegations of faulty technology in countries where it deployed its equipment, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq.

Miru insisted that claims of election failures are baseless. –

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.