THE Commission on Elections said on Tuesday the outcome of the 2022 polls could not be tampered with by its selected logistics provider.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez made the assurance amid concerns raised by election watchdogs over the poll body’s decision to tap F2 Logistics in the conduct of the polls next year.

F2 Logistics is linked to Davao businessman  Dennis Uy, a known campaign contributor and ally of President Duterte.

“The VCMs have practically nothing to do with the results once the results have been reported out,” Jimenez said in a series of posts in his Twitter account posted on Tuesday.

Safeguards

He noted that the delivery of the vote counting machines (VCM) is closely monitored by Comelec.

The delivered VCMs also undergo final testing and sealing three days before the election to make sure they are working.

To ensure that a VCM unit is untampered with before it could start accepting ballots, Jimenez said machines are made to print out a zero-report to prove “there are no pre-programmed results in the machine’s memory.”

Transmitted results

The poll official also noted the logistics provider cannot alter the actual election results after the polls, since the VCMs are made to print  election returns, which are then certified by the electoral board and watchers.

The VCMs then transmit a soft copy of the election returns to select servers, while the memory card of the results are carried by the  electoral board to the municipal canvassing system.

“At no point is the logistics provider able to tamper with the election outcome,” Jimenez said.

Delicadeza

Former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman, however, still called out the decision to award the contract for the transportation of election paraphernalia during the 2022 polls to  F2 Logistics.

“What has happened to delicadeza in the administration of our government? This is something that should not be happening, a major contributor getting a major contract,” Lagman said.

Lagman said Comelec could have easily avoided the controversy had it picked another service provider not affiliated with the administration.

“If I were the Comelec, I would consider it a failed bid to invite other service providers to participate in the bidding,” Lagman said.

Public bidding

Jimenez, however, pointed out F2 Logistics passed the necessary requirements and public bidding before it was awarded the  P535-million contract for transporting  paraphernalia.

He noted this includes having the lowest responsive bid for the contract, which has an approved budget  of P1.61 billion.

The requirements, however, do not include screening the owner of the company participating in the bidding.

Since the contract was already awarded to F2 Logistics, Jimenez said it could now only be canceled by Comelec if the company is found to have violated any of its provisions.





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