Guanzon wants supplier of faulty SD cards blacklisted

Published May 19, 2019, 5:29 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Minka Klaudia Tiangco

A Commission on Elections (Comelec) official said she would vote to put on a blacklist the supplier of the faulty SD cards in the national and local elections.

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon (PHOTO COURTESY OF ROWENA GUANZON / FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon (PHOTO COURTESY OF ROWENA GUANZON / FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)

Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said she issued a memorandum to the Comelec en banc to boycott the supplier. The Commission Secretary has already sent the memorandum to the departments of the en banc members, she added.

“That’s 800 million, that’s not just small change of people’s money. I can’t speak for the other commissioners, but you know me, I was a former commissioner of the Commission on Audit (COA) and I will not tolerate a breach of COA rules,” she told reporters when she visited the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting’s (PPCRV) Command Center at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila Sunday afternoon.

Around 1,000 SD cards did not work on Election Day. Guanzon said this may have happened because the SD cards supplied by S1 Technologies Incorporated and Silicon Valley Computer were cheap.

Guanzon said most of the defective SD cards were sent to far areas so they would be harder to replace.

“I want to see where they were distributed, because it seems to me that the faulty SD cards were in far-flung places, so it was harder to replace or reconfigure because it was far from Metro Manila. Although we do have technical regional hubs,” she said.

Guanzon added that they also gathered data on the defective Voter Registration Verification System (VRVS), a machine that scanned voters’ thumbprints to determine if they were registered voters.

Delays were reported during the elections after some VRVS in various cities did not work.

“We did all this data on the SD cards, how many failed, where… how much have they been paid. The Voter Registration Verification Machine, how many did not work, and we can estimate how much time they wasted just waiting for it to work,” she said.

Earlier, Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas said he ordered the election commission’s law department to review the contracts of the suppliers of election paraphernalia and the possible penalties to be meted against them.

About 400 to 600 vote counting machines and bleeding pens also marred the elections last Monday.