Posted by: kidlatanvillage | July 2, 2009

Derailed Automated Election, Automatic No Election?

Update: TIM and Smartmatic were able to settle their differences. The COMELEC gave them up to Friday (today) to patch up their differences and to push through with their automation contract. COMELEC automation project in view of this development will continue.


What is going to happen now with the much expected automation of 2010 election now that the partnership between Total Information Management Corp. (TIM) and Smartmatic International has been severed due to certain  differences (probably operational/policy/financial issues)? The COMELEC on the other hand has come to the scence to  possibly rescue the unraveling joint venture between the two large IT companies.

For representative Teddy Casiño who earlier expressed fear for the possible disruption of the automated election and called for congressional inquiry it would be necessary for Congress to “look into how TIM entered into the picture and who brokered their joint venture with Smartmatic.”

But TIM is not all alone, during the Senate inquiry last week the COMELEC admitted that the Aboitizes (which is closely link to the First Family) is also a part of the 7.2 billion pesos automation contract; the Aboitiz Transport System’s 2GO will be responsible in the shipment of the 82,200 counting machines to be used in the 2010 elections.

In relation to this Casiño posed this question: “The question is why is TIM now asserting itself against its partner Smartmatic to the point of jeopardizing the whole automation process? I think it’s not just about the money. Perhaps TIM is deliberately sabotaging the automation because it could not get its way in controlling Smartmatic’s system for the benefit of its power backers.”

Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza who said he would file a resolution at the opening of the next congress seeking a probe separate from the Senate investigation of the TIM-Smartmatic joint sees the issue as a serious matter for Congress to investigate. “I don’t know if he (Antuñez) just wants to make easy money or another party is seeking to raise the amount,” Plaza said.

Plaza also added that by coming out with his P500-million demand, Antuñez was practically demanding that Smartmatic “buy him out or buy his silence” in the partnership; which to  Casiño’s mind there are more significant issues here to raise beyond intracorporate squabble. “I don’t think they are fighting about money because both of them stand to earn a lot from the venture. I think they are fighting on who will get control of the system which ultimately is the most important aspect of the project,”Casiño said.

But COMELEC has other options: to rebid, to be in partnership with Smartmatic, and to go back to the traditional method of manual counting. And the more this scenario is giving fear to Casiño. Without automation it’s happy days for the “dagdag-bawas”—vote shaving and padding operators again. And in terms of vote shaving operation it is usually “the highest bidder that really has the advantage,” according to Casino. But other observers have other fear in mind as well. With election automation derailed, it could also mean a suspension or no election at all by 2010. Like the other millions of Filipino voters I am praying it will not be so.


Update: Nagkasundo na ang TIM at Smartmatic ayon sa deadline na ibinigay ng COMELEC.

Mabuti na lang nagkasundo rin ang dalawang kompanya para na rin sa pagpapatuloy ng automated election. Siguro natauhan din ang mga taong nasa likuran ng hindi nila pagkakaintindihan. Hindi pera daw ang dahilan, marahil kung sino ang dapat manguna sa operasyon ng proyekto. Kung ano man iyon ay hindi na mahalaga. Kailangan lamang ay walang hukos-pukos na mangyayari.



  1. Better have a mano-mano counting of votes than no election at all if the corporate problems of the winning bidder cannot be resolved anymore.

  2. I agree with you that the dagdag-bawas operators will be happy about this development. But I am confident on the word of the COMELEC that the last thing they have in mind is to go on manual counting of votes during the 2010 elections.

  3. Kapitakidlat your very honor sir, I am not sure if there will be any move to control the automation of election by some notoriously undesirable people. I am not also sure if the manual computation of votes will be installed again after the collapse in the agreement of the companies that winner in the bid for the automation of election. I smell here something like the fish. I don’t know how but history repeats itself again in what you say mano-mano counting system.

  4. By the way Kapitan I am inviting you to come and see me in my blog. Just click my name above and you will be there.

  5. I’m low batt and suffering from erectile dysfunction.It has been almost a month since I’m away from blogging. Being overstressed with all things going in life I just decided to take things easy after Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery and tumor removal on my colon, letting myself not to be worried about not blogging, hardly reading weblogs. missing all interesting things around… What is more important I also took a break from my cooking,dish washing, laundry and chauffeur’s job here at SBMA being the CEO of IBM.

    I guess it’s time to come back. It similar to a feeling of coming back from recovery room seclusion that wasn’t too short.The doctors gave me an extension ( not my penis which those nurses loved to insert it on catheters) but an extended stay to enjoy the beautiful life.

    And, of course, I missed some interesting things happened over time.

    -Has anybody else noticed that most news stories about politicians’ affairs are really about women?

    There are women in them, of course. There’s the Wronged Wife of Jose Pidal, who is often portrayed as a victim in stories that frame her in a domestic light, focusing on how she is “coping” and whether “she’ll stand by her man, the Cheating Husband.To end those abuse, according to some naughty internet pundits: Gloria Arroyo underwent removal and replacement of breast silicone implants at a hospital in Muntinlupa outside the National Bilibid Prisons. She has now two watermelon sizes breast hanging on her chest.

    It was the right thing to do, after Gloria Arroyo’s term ended maybe,she’ll drive her own Lamborghini or Maserati, those sports car,the airbag won’t inflate if the driver is less than 5 feet.Kids are not allowed to drive those cars and in case on a head-on collision if Gloria Arroyo ran through a red light and crashed her car into another vehicle at a busy crossroad and the two cars were crumpled past recognition in the crash, her silicone breasts acted as airbags and saved her life,

  6. SMARTMATIC: GMA is smart and systematic.
    TIM: They Infiltrated Malacanang

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