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Comelec obtained certification backing Miru's credibility, track record — Garcia

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday assured that due diligence was observed before awarding the contract for the automated election system (AES) for the 2025 national and local elections to South Korean firm Miru Systems Company Limited.

In an interview on Unang Balita, Comelec Chairman George Garcia said Miru secured certifications from the United Nations and the poll commissions of other countries where Miru provided service for the respective elections.

"Kami po kasi ay nakakuha ng sertipikasyon mula doon sa United Nations patungkol sa eleksyon na nangyari sa Iraq, pati mismo sa electoral commission ng Congo, at sinasabi ay naging maayos naman ang halalan nila. Kung may nagrereklamo po ay 'yung mga natalo sa mga bansa na 'yon," Garcia said.

(We were able to receive a certification from the United Nations pertaining to the election that was held in Iraq, as well as the electoral commission of Congo. The certifications stated that the polls were conducted successfully. Those who were complaining about the polls were the candidates who lost the elections.)

"So pinagkatiwalaan po namin 'yung in-issue na certification at 'yung mismong ibang lugar kung saan nag-hold ng election itong Miru System, tulad po sa Russia at katulad po sa mismo nilang bansa, d'yan sa Korea, ay wala naman pong ganong klaseng issue," he added.

(So we trust the certifications that were issued. We also got certifications from Russia and even in their own country in Korea. None of these issues were flagged.)

While criticisms and questions are welcome, Garcia said the important thing in this procurement is that Miru System will follow the specifications of the automated counting machines that the Comelec has set in its terms of reference.

On Monday, Comelec and Miru signed the contract for the procurement of a new AES that will be used for the 2025 national and local elections.

The P17.99-billion contract will cover around 110,000 machines and peripherals including ballot boxes, laptops, and other printing requirements for the 2025 elections.

Miru is joined by Integrated Computer Systems and St. Timothy Construction Corporation and Centerpoint Solutions Technologies, Inc. in the joint venture for the Comelec procurement.

In his speech, Garcia said all the provisions under the contract proposed by the Comelec were accepted by Miru in toto.

Lawmakers, election watchdogs, and other groups earlier expressed concern and called on the Comelec to stay vigilant and review Miru's track record.

However, Miru Systems said the allegations of election failures due to its technology were false.

It was declared ineligible in the first round of bidding in December 2023 for its failure to meet the legal requirements of the lease contract. The Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee conducted a second round of bidding where Miru submitted new documents.

In January, Miru was deemed eligible to proceed with the bidding process after complying with all the legal and financial requirements for the project. — VDV/ GMA Integrated News