Kontra Daya calls for Smartmatic’s blacklisting

Kontra Daya

Election watchdog Kontra Daya believes that Smartmatic should be blacklisted following reports of malfunctioning vote counting machines (VCMs) during the election day last May 9.

Kontra Daya Convenor Professor Danilo Arao said they received several reports of glitches in VCMs as well as long lines in the different polling centers last Monday.

“May mga botante na alas sais pa nakapila...Napagsarahan na po sila ng polling precinct ng alas siyete, tapos naghintay hanggang hatingggabi, hindi pa rin po nakakaboto. So, ganoon yung extreme cases po talaga na nangyari sa mga botante. Talagang wala tayong masyadong mapiling salita kundi nakakadurog ng puso,” Arao said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo on Wednesday, May 11.

“Nakakadurog po ng puso yon at yun yung masasabi nating concrete anecdotal evidence na meron talagang kapalpakan ang Smartmatic. Dapat ma-blacklist na yan. Palayasin na sana yan sa Pilipinas at ang Comelec dapat imbestigahan yung lahat ng ng mga nangyaring problema at aberya at huwag sabihing minor problems lang ito. Hindi po minor ang potential disenfranchisement,” he added.

National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) Chairman Gus Lagman also supported the statement of Arao about blacklisting Smartmatic. “I've been campaigning for that since 2010," he said during a separate interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

In a statement, Kontra Daya said “it is difficult for voters to be confident in election proceedings marred by machine errors and breakdowns, as these cast doubt on the capacity of the machine to count their votes.”

“The Comelec must replace the current automated election system with one that is transparent, open source and locally made,” the group said.

“An election system that maximizes local talent and allows for greater public scrutiny will allow voters to be confident that their vote has been correctly cast and counted,” it added.