Search of Novotel yields 2 foreigner Smartmatic technicians

Photo by Kontra Daya
Photo by Kontra Daya

Early this morning, at around 9:30 a.m., the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting received a call from a hotel staff, informing them that VCMs were brought there.

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — A quick reaction team of an election watchdog found no Vote Counting Machines inside a hotel in Cubao, Quezon City, but it found two foreigner members of the “technical support” of Smartmatic.

“The reported incident was important enough that no less than the Comelec chairman looked into it,” Giovanni Tapang, co-convenor of Kontra Daya, said.

At around lunch time, Comelec chairman Andres Bautista arrived at the hotel. He talked to the Novotel manager but no media was allowed to listen.

Di na muna, (Not in the meantime),” Bautista told Kontra Daya volunteers who asked to accompany him.

Novotel is located at Araneta Center complex, owned by the Aranetas, the family of Liberal Party’s presidential bet Mar Roxas.

Early this morning, at around 9:30 a.m., the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting received a call from a hotel staff, informing them that VCMs were brought there. Members of the PPCRV were prevented from entering the hotel at around 10 a.m. to verify the report.

Eleanor Jara, executive director of the Council for Health and Development, said the police was informed of the predicament but no one came to look into the reported presence of VCMs.

At around 1:00 p.m., Comelec confirmed that there were members of the technical support of Smartmatic staying at Novotel. Some 30 minutes later, the representatives from Kontra Daya, Net 25, and PPCRV inspected eight rooms located at fifth and seventh floors.

Jara said there were no further pronouncements on what the Smartmatic technical support staff was doing in Novotel with said VCMs.

In its Facebook post, Kontra Daya noted that the “time lapse between report and inspection was four hours.”

A member of the Kontra Daya team who trooped to the hotel asked for a copy of the CCTV but “no one acted on it.” ()

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