Enrile backs purchase of PCOS machines
MANILA, Philippines - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile supported Thursday the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to purchase the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the 2010 elections for the 2013 polls.
Enrile believes it would be more practical to use the system again than explore a new one.
"There were errors. Nothing is perfect in this world. But that does not go against the utility of the machines," he told reporters on Wednesday. "We can correct it and we can economize money. Who knows, if we buy another one, it will be worse."
During a hearing of the Senate electoral reforms committee, several groups raised concerns about reusing the PCOS machine because of its errors.
They pointed out, for instance, the unavailability of the machine's source code for scrutiny by independent groups.
The Automated Election System (AES) Watch said Smartmatic, the supplier of the PCOS machines, should be held accountable for glitches during the 2010 elections.
Comelec officials gave assurances during the hearing that the problems have been fixed. They also said they will release a report on how the glitches were addressed
Electoral reforms committee chairman Aquilino Pimentel III earlier opposed the Comelec's purchase of the PCOS machines, but said he is willing to give the Comelec a chance.
"I want the Comelec to answer my questions. 'Yon bang nakita nating kapalpakan noong 2010 may solusyon na ba? Ang commitment nila, masasagot ito at ia-anunsyo nila sa publiko ang mga sagot," he said.