President Rodrigo Duterte during his speech in Tokyo on Thursday gave advice to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to stop getting the service of Technology company Smartmatic in the next election.
According to Duterte, COMELEC should dispose of Smartmatic because of alleged election cheating and fraud happening every election.
“I would like to advise COMELEC, now, hindi ko na lang hintayin [I wouldn’t wait], dispose of Smartmatic, I am now asking you as a co-equal… please do not use it,” he said.
Duterte made a statement after COMELEC received many complaints of malfunctioned Voting Counting Machines (VCMs), several politicians also accused their enemies of cheating the automated elections.
The President expressed opposition against COMELEC decision to partner with Smartmatic despite the result of the elections favored him after 9 out of 12 politicians he endorsed won.
Even presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte warned Smartmatic to avoid interfering with the election,
“That’s why we remind COMELEC and Smartmatic to be faithful sa mga choices ng mga tao, wag na nilang pakialaman ang results ng botohan,” she said during a chance interview on May 13.
Smartmatic machines were first used during the 2008 regional elections, while they received a positive reaction during their first operation, people and some politicians slowly lost their trust to the said company because of many cases of so-called errors and bugs.
On 2016, former Senator Bongbong Marcos accused Smartmatic of tampering with the votes which resulted to his loss during the Vice Presidential race against Leni Robredo.
Even in the 2019 senatorial election, former Vice President Jejomar Binay experienced problems while voting after a VCM rejected his ballot several times.
The people also complained after the election results were delayed by 7 hours.