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BIDDER CLAIMS Poll exec committed ‘irresponsible action’

Posted on: May 19, 2009

BIDDER CLAIMS
Poll exec committed ‘irresponsible action’

Spokesperson denies accusation
By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 14:50:00 05/19/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Technology (general), Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines—A representative from bidder AMA Group Holdings consortium accused the official spokesperson of the Commission on Elections of committing an “irresponsible action,” after allegedly creating the impression that Smartmatic consortium had already won the bid.

Johnny Ramos, representative of AMA consortium, said James Jimenez, director of the Comelec Education and Information Department, was prematurely “declaring Smartmatic as the winning bidder for the P11.2 billion poll automation contract.”

“It is foul to declare Smartmatic will start the demonstration. On what basis? The SBAC said the demonstration will not start until all pending motions are resolved. Jimenez is not part of SBAC,” said Ramos.

“I will call the SBAC’s attention on this and file an appeal,” he added.

Ramos cited that there is an SBAC mandate for bidders to avoid any media appearance while the bidding is ongoing.

AMA Group Holdings was one of the bidders disqualified earlier by the Special Bids and Awards Committee after it failed to submit necessary documents for the bid.

The SBAC has not yet issued any ruling on AMA’s appeal, but SBAC chairman Ferdinan Rafanan said the poll body might decide soon.

Responding to the allegations thrown against him, Jimenez said he did not make any declarations or “created an impression” that the Smartmatic consortium had won the bid.

In a separate interview with reporters, Comelec chairman Jose Melo said the incident between AMA and Jimenez would not affect the bidding.

He said that no one, including its spokesperson, can declare the winning bidder except the SBAC.

“You know, different folks different talks,” added Melo.

Jimenez said he only facilitated a media interview with Smartmatic consortium, where the consortium said it was capable of passing the 26 technical criteria set for the automated machines.

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