By Ellson Quismorio
Don’t just withhold payment, but also penalize suppliers of the faulty security digital (SD) cards.
This was the appeal made by re-elected Caloocan City 2nd district Rep. Edgar Erice on Sunday regarding the companies that allegedly delivered faulty SD cards for the vote counting machines (VCMs) used during the May 13 midterm polls.
Erice was reacting to a statement made earlier by Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon saying that they will not pay in full the supplier of the SD cards.
“Of course [that is the consequence because), the product is defective,” said the Liberal Party (LP) stalwart.
“I hope that the supplier would also be penalized for the injury [they caused during the elections],” added Erice. He did not specify what kind of penalty should be imposed.
Tapped by Comelec as source for the SD cards were S1 Technologies Incorporated and Silicon Valley Computer Group. Their contract was worth P22.6 million, reports said.
It can be recalled that poll day was marred by numerous reports of malfunctioning VCMs. This was attributed to SD cards found to be faulty or incompatible with the vote counting devices.
“The corrupted SD cards were sourced from a different supplier instead of the VCM supplier. It should have been a bundle purchase from the same supplier so as to single out accountability [in case of glitches],” Erice said, referring to the Comelec’s “unbundling” policy when it comes to procuring election paraphernalia.
The poll body said that between 400 and 600 VCMs suffered technical glitch on May 13, and had to be replaced.
Also on Sunday, Guanzon went to the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) command center in Manila for an inspection. She was received by PPCRV Chairperson Myla Villanueva.
The Church-backed election watchdog is accredited by Comelec to conduct a parallel unofficial count to go with their official count during the canvassing of ballots.
The PPCRV uses the fourth printed copy of the election returns, which is encoded by volunteers and matched against the electronically-transmitted poll results from Comelec’s transparency server.