Ex-lawmaker asks SC for TRO vs. Comelec-Miru deal

ex-lawmaker asks sc for tro vs. comelec-miru deal

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Former lawmaker Edgar Erice on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to declare null and void the contract between the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and South Korean firm Miru Systems for the 2025 elections.

In his 50-page petition for certiorari, Erice also asked the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the poll body from implementing En Banc Minute Resolution No. 24-0114, which awarded the project to Miru.

He also asked the Court to declare null and void the notice of award and the contract agreement between Comelec and Miru.

Names as respondents were the Comelec En Banc and the joint venture of Miru Systems.

“Pinag-aralan ko mabuti at nakita ko na ‘yung Miru contract na ‘yan ay in violation of Republic Act 7369, which is the Automated Election Law. Una sa procedure, maraming hindi nasunod na procedure. Pangalawa ‘yung gagamiting machine, prototype, magiging guinea pig tayo, it’s against the law,” Erice said in an interview.

(I studied it well and I saw that the Miru contract is in violation of RA 7369, which is the Automated Election Law. FIrst the procedure, procedures were not followed. Second, the machine that will be used is a prototype. We will become a guinea pig. It’s against the law.)

Further, Erice claimed that Miru has many “red flags.”

“Third, highly anomalous, it’s a robbery in progress. It’s a robbery in progress,” he said.

He said this is the first time that the government will spend P17.99-billion for an automated elections.

Erice, meanwhile, stressed that his petition is not related to service provider Smartmatic, which was earlier disqualified by Comelec from participating in all of its procurements.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court announced that Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it disqualified Smartmatic before it could submit any bids.

“Wala po silang kinalaman dito at sila po ay may sarili nang laban… ang laban nila ‘yung magparticipate sila sa bidding. Ang laban ko it’s a robbery in progress,” he said.

(They have nothing to do with this and they have their own fight. Their fight is to participate in the bidding. My fight is that this is a robbery in progress.)

For his part, Comelec Chairperson George Garcia said the poll body will face the petition.

“Sabi nga rin natin yayakapin natin at ‘yan po ay amin pong— welcome nga rin po sa amin kung gusto nilang kwestyonin ‘yung pagkakabigay ng award sa Miru system,” he said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.

(We will embrace this— we welcome it if they want to question the awarding of contract to Miru System.)

Garcia, however, said that problems may arise should the Comelec be ordered to stop its procurement for the elections.

“Sapagkat syempre po maiimbyerna po ‘yung preparasyon natin. Kung kaya nga po sinunod namin talaga ‘yung timeline namin… so any day of delay po ay maka compromise, masa-sacrifice po ‘yung eleksyon natin sa 2025,” he said.

(Of course, our preparation will be affected. That’s why we are really following the timeline. So any delay may compromise our election.)

According to Garcia, Comelec will continue its schedule of activities to prevent any delay, pending a possible TRO from the Supreme Court.

He said the manufacturing of 110,000 VCMs will begin in Korea today.

“Hindi po kami hihinto sapagkat ayaw naming ma-compromise ‘yung mismong— o madelay kami sapagkat mako-compromise po ‘yung preparasyon natin sa 2025 hangga’t hindi po tayo pinapahinto ng Korte Suprema,” he said.

(We will not stop because we don’t want to be delayed because our preparation may be compromised for the 2025 elections so we will not stop until the Supreme Court tells us to do so.)

However, Erice said Garcia’s remarks that poll preparations could be delayed was only a “scare tactic.” He said he wanted Comelec to use the 97,000 vote-counting machines used in the 2022 elections.

“Ang bilis noon. Ire-refurbish kung may kulang bumili ng kaunti, gamitin. Sanay na sanay na ang Comelec diyan. Sanay na sanay na. Samantalang ito nakakatakot. Kung may magagambala dito, ‘yung robbery in progress,” he said.

According to Erice, he is also considering filing an impeachment case against Garcia.

“Actually, I’m contemplating filing an impeachment against the commissioner,” he said.

For his part, Garcia said they welcome all cases that may be filed against them, adding that it was part of the job.

GMA News Online sought comment from Miru but has yet to receive a reply as of posting time.—AOL, GMA Integrated News

This article Ex-lawmaker asks SC for TRO vs. Comelec-Miru deal was originally published in GMA News Online.

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