THE Commission on Elections may be held for contempt if it releases the “unused” vote-counting machines to Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp., the electronic voting company tapped in this year’s general elections, the lawyer of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Monday.
George Garcia asked the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to stop the Comelec from releasing the VCMs to Smartmatic because doing so would violate the Precautionary Protective Order it earlier issued to preserve all election materials and equipment used in the May elections.
Marcos, who was defeated in the vice presidential election this year, is contesting the victory of Leni Robredo claiming an anomaly in the counting of the votes and demanding a recount of the votes.
Garcia said should the Comelec proceed with the release of the VCMs on Oct. 26, that act would be a “disobedience of or resistance to a lawful order of the court.”
“Protestant Marcos respectfully submits... that Comelec cannot release the subject VCMs as the determination of whether they were used in the 9 May 2016 elections, and are thus covered by the PPO, is solely within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Tribunal,” Garcia said.
“As can be inferred from its letter dated 27 September 2016, the Comelec made a unilateral determination that the subject VCMs are not within the scope of the PPO.”
Garcia said only the high court and not the Comelec had the sole authority to decide on the release of the VCMs to Smartmatic.