MANILA (Mabuhay) – Instead of appealing the decision of the Supreme Court, former elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Wednesday urged the poll body to look for another company that will repair the 81,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines that will be used in the 2016 polls.
“I think the commission now should look for an alternative immediately instead of filing a motion for reconsideration,” Brillantes said.
The SC on Tuesday voided the P300-million diagnostics and repair agreement between the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic-TIM, after it was questioned by the Automated Elections System and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
In voiding the contract, the Supreme Court noted that the Comelec “failed to justify its resort to direct contracting,” according to court spokesman Theodore Te.
Brillantes, who signed the agreement before he retired in February, said the Comelec can opt for alternative bidding or get a copy of the SC decision to check if the it gave any recommendation on how the poll body should proceed with the repair.
“Kailangang i-repair talaga yung mga PCOS machines. Pwedeng pumunta sa alternative bidding, instead of public bidding na mahaba at matagal. Kaya importante sa amin na makita yung sinasabi ng Korte Suprema,” he said.
“Kung negotiated bidding, maghanap ng ibang kakausapin ang Comelec o kaya yung limited bidding, baka sakaling maikli yan, about two to three weeks baka makakuha ng gagawa, maumpisahan agad at aabot pa. Ang importate ay ma-repair yung 81,000 at magkaroon ng bidding although hindi necessarily public,” he added.
Asked if the PCOS machines would still be effective in the 2016 polls, Brillantes replied in the affirmative, saying it was the Comelec Advisory Council who recommended for its use provided that the machines were refurbished.
“Nirekomenda ng Comelec Advisory Council na pwede pa yan, sila nagrekomenda na pwede pang gamitin yan kasi kung bibili ng bago napakamahal. Pwedeng gamitin yan basta ipa-repair nyo lang kaya nagkaroon kami ng kontrata para sa refurbishing, sinunod lang namin yun,” he said.
He said with repair of the 81,000 machines, the Comelec only needs to buy 23,000 more for the 2016 polls. (MNS)