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Comelec to losing bidders: Learn from defeat

Posted on: June 19, 2009

Comelec to losing bidders: Learn from defeat

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:47:00 06/19/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, State Budget & Taxes

MANILA, Philippines — The chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) bids committee will ask two firms who failed to secure the multi-billion peso automation contract to accept defeat and “learn from it.”

Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) Chairman Ferdinand Rafanan maintained that the concerns raised by the Avante International consortium and the joint venture of Sequoia Voting Systems and Universal Storefront Services Corp. against the Smartmatic and Total Information Management consortium, have been addressed.

The losing firms had questioned Smartmatic-TIM’s qualifications in a letter to the Comelec en banc.

“I will draft a formal answer to them saying that they should accept the bid results and learn from it,” Rafanan said.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said: “Such relentless griping that the post qualification for Smartmatic-TIM or for any participating bidder was shabbily done or that they were unfairly treated during the public bidding have no basis.”

“We are ready to defend our decision to anyone,” he told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.

Jimenez said the two losing bidder were confusing the public about the Comelec’s capability to hold honest automated elections.

Smartmatic international sales manager Cezar Flores maintained that Smartmatic-TIM won the contract in a fair bidding.

“As we have said before, we won the contract fairly during the tedious and very long bidding. We are now focused on preparing our contract master plan and to finalize the terms of the automation contract to be signed,” he said.

The automation contract is set for signing next week, Rafanan said.

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