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Comelec to test Lagman’s system anew

THE Commission on Elections will test the Transparent and Credible Election System or TCrES on June 27 to find a suitable election system alternative that could be used in the 2016 presidential elections, a source said Monday.

Former Comelec commissioner Gus Lagman said he will again demonstrate the efficiency of his proposed election system before Comelec officials on Saturday.

“We are very happy that the Comelec is very receptive to new ideas,” Lagman said.

He said his end-to-end demonstration will be held in a classroom.

“That demo will be similar to a mock election. It will be an end to end demonstration,” Lagman said.

He made his statement even as six companies have so far acquired bid documents for the lease of 23,000 Optical Mark Reader or OMR machines to be used in the 2016 national and local polls.

The Comelec identified the prospective bidders for the P2.5-billion project as Sysco Paper Corp., Miru Systems Co., Smartmatic–Total Information Management Corp., Dermalog Identification Systems GmbH, Indra Sistemas S.A., and Agan Montenegro Malasaga & Co.

The other bidders can still purchase bid documents for the non-refundable fee of P75,000 until June 29.

Meanwhile, an election lawyer on Monday urged the Comelec to explain to the 4.3-million registered voters that they require to be registered under the biometric system.

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said the 4.3-million voters remained unaware if they were still required to register under the biometric system given that they had been issued Voters’ IDs.

“Most of these voters who are in possession of Voter’s ID have the impression that they are already biometrically registered since they    already have their Voter’s ID,” Macalintal said.

He said those who had voted in the past two elections also believed they were no longer required to register under this system.

Lagman praised the new Comelec administration for being open to any alternatives before deciding which system to adopt by the end of July.

He said his group was aware that there were ongoing parallel bidding but they were hoping that the Comelec would consider their proposal.

“This idea is a Filipino concept and not by foreign vendors,” he said. With PNA

During the administration of Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes, the Comelec repeatedly rejected the use of TcrES, saying Lagman’s hybrid system of manual voting and counting and automated transmission and canvassing did not comply with existing laws.

But newly appointed Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista has said the poll body might ask Congress to amend Republic Act 9369 or the Poll Automation Law.

 “Regardless of what the legal parameters are, I think what we need to decide or build is a consensus upon what system do we need to adopt... if Congress believes that is the right thing to adopt [TCrES], then why don’t we amend the law?” Bautista said.

 He said the should “not be too legalistic” to find out which system truly worked.

 “We have to find the best system and improve it further to make sure safeguards would be enough,” Bautista said. With PNA

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