Ex-solon accuses poll commissioner of corruption

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Comelec Commissioner Christian Lim | File photo

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) — Another poll commissioner is facing possible impeachment complaint due to alleged corruption.

Former Biliran Representative Glenn Chong asked the Ombudsman on Monday to investigate Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Christian Lim for allegedly conspiring with Smartmatic in violating election laws.

Chon's accusation against Lim, who was then Comelec Acting Chairman, stemmed from the  P240-million diagnostics contract between the Comelec and Smartmatic, which  the Supreme Court in a 2015 decision declared null and void. The High Court said the contract did not undergo public bidding, which is required by the Government Procurement Reform Act.

Electronic voting technology company Smartmatic provided the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines when the Philippines first ventured into automated elections in 2010.

Aside from this, Chong said Lim pushed for the re-use of thousands of PCOS machines for the 2016 elections, despite the problems encountered in the 2013 elections.

Chong said these constitute corrupt practices, which may be acted upon by the Ombudsman.

"Corrupt practices can impel the Ombudsman to conduct an investigation with the view to filing the appropriate impeachment complaint - verified impeachment complaint - against the responsible impeachable official," Chong said.

Chong said he filed the complaint before the Ombudsman since there is already a pending plunder case filed by Negros Oriental 1st district representative Jacinto Paras against former Comelec officials, including Lim.

The former Biliran representative also accused Lim of eyeing the Comelec chairmanship  in case Chairman Andy Bautista steps down amid the controversy with his wife.

This will be problematic come 2019 elections, Chong said.

"Kung siya yung maupo as Comelec Chair, he will ram Smartmatic down our throats for 2019. So kaya ako nagfile ng complaint," Chong said.

[Translation: I filed a complaint because Lim may ram Smartmatic down our throats for 2019 in case he assumes the position of Comelec chair.]

Comelec commissioners in August asked the embattled chairman to file a leave of absence or resign amid his feud with his estranged wife since Bautista "can no longer effectively lead the Commission," according to the commissioners' statement.

READ: Commissioners to Comelec Chair: File a leave or resign