MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated on Thursday his call for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to get rid of technology provider Smartmatic, stressing that not a single vote should be “wasted” to preserve the integrity of automated elections.
“Ang sinabi ko naman dyan sa Smartmatic, even if there is just one vote that is wasted hindi maganda ‘yan. Sabi ko maghanap kayo ng bago na walang palpak ni isang boto,” Duterte said in a speech at a post-Eid’l Fitr celebration in his hometown Davao City.
(I told Smartmatic, it’s not good even if only one vote is wasted. I told them find a provider that will not waste even a single vote.)
“Kapag may isang Maranao na sige yawyaw dyan hindi na magtahimik yan lalo nang madaya,” he added.
Duterte first issued the appeal during an event with the Filipino community in Japan on May 30 where he asked the poll body to “dispose” of Smartmatic and look for a new one that is “free of fraud.”
READ: Duterte tells Comelec: Dispose of Smartmatic
Smartmatic has been the provider of the vote counting machines (VCMs) in the Philippines’ automated elections since 2010.
Almost a thousand VCMs encountered glitches during the May 13 midterm elections, the country’s fourth automated elections.
Aside from malfunctioning VCMs and SD cards, the recently concluded elections have been marred by a seven-hour delay in the release of election results to the transparency server, which triggered concerns about the integrity of the poll results. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
READ: 961 VCMs, 1,665 SD cards suffer glitches in 2019 polls — Comelec
READ: Comelec transparency server glitch delays release of partial poll results
See the bigger picture with the Inquirer’s live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019
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