Comelec orders deployment of PNP, AFP operatives to the Cabuyao (Laguna) warehouse

December 14, 2012 11:03 pm 

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, Dec. 14 — THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has ordered the deployment of Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)operatives to the warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna, where the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines are kept.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said that authorities were directed to guard the facility after their negotiations with the owners of the warehouse failed to agree on the terms of the deal.

“There was some sort of threat (from the owners) that they want us out already so what we did was bring in some security and secured the area so that the machines will not be moved,” Brillantes said.

Apart from the 12 Comelec organic security personnel, the poll chief said they asked for the deployment of some police and military operatives to the warehouse facility.

“I got pissed… so we want to make the owners realize that they cannot threaten us,” Brillantes said.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the row started after both parties failed to come up with a decision on the deal terms.

He said that the poll body only wants to continue the lease of the warehouse until after the elections or sometime in June while the PSI wants a three-year lease contract.

Jimenez said the police and military personnel will be staying in the facility until the negotiations were either completed or totally called off.

Brillantes said the commission en banc is set to release a formal resolution authorizing the deployment of the military and the police.

It can be recalled that Smartmatic International, the provider of the PCOS machines purchased by the Comelec earlier this year, had given the poll body until the end of August to find a new warehouse for the voting units to be re-used in the 2013 polls.

But, after two failed biddings for the P400-million project for warehouse lease with configuration facilities to show, the poll body was forced to take over the lease contract of the Cabuyao warehouse. (PNA)

CTB/FGP/UTB/UTB

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