Memory card supplier in vote counting machine in hot water — COMELEC

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 15) — An official of the government's poll body will hold accountable the suppliers of vote counting machines (VCM) and secure digital (SD) cards in the wake of technical glitches on election day.

"I'm going to take them into account over this, especially the SD card supplier," Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon told CNN Philippines Wednesday.

Guanzon referred to a media briefing by Commissioner Marlon Casquejo who said the amount of the winning bid to supply SD or memory cards was ₱29 million, even if the COMELEC set aside a budget of ₱​​​​​​80 million.

"What do we expect for ₱29-million SD cards?" Casquejo said.

Guanzon called the issue a "management problem," adding she would raise it with the Commission en banc where she would "insist" the suppliers not be paid in full and be penalized.

She said the SD cards shown as samples during the bidding could have been switched for low quality ones.

"Maybe I suspect, Commissioner Casquejo might expect he (was) delivered quality SD cards during the bidding and then (the bidder) gave us low quality SD cards during delivery," Guanzon said.

An information technology expert shares Guanzon's theory.

Pierre Tito Galla told CNN Philippines Tuesday night, "It's more likely na 'yung SD card na 'yun [that the quality of thet SD card]...the quality that they sent the COMELEC is not something reliable. It's something that they need to review on the supplier's part."

RELATED: COMELEC to replace over 600 corrupted SD cards for 2019 polls

As for the glitch encountered Tuesday, Guanzon said the Commission en banc was open to an audit to prove votes were intact.

"The public has to be satisfied so that the election is going to be credible," she said.