Comelec awards 2025 contract to foreign company mired in fraud and anomalies

This article is available in Pilipino

The Commission on Elections awarded yesterday, February 22, the contract to rent machines for the 2025 election to Miru Systems Co. Ltd., a South Korean company. This comes after it banned Smartmatic—used in previous electronic elections—over bribery complaints against a former Comelec commissioner filed in the US.

Miru was the only company to submit a bid for the contract, after two other companies were disqualified even before they could bid.

Thus, the Miru System will provide all the materials used in the election, including 110,000 automated counting machines, vote counting systems and tabulation of results from the precincts. The company will also print ballots, manufacture ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia. The contract is worth ₱18 billion.

Miru Systems has been involved in numerous anomalies in countries where its machines were used. This includes machine failures and cases of anomalies, fraud and other irregularities.

In the recently concluded elections in Congo last December 2023, Miru machines were called “fraud machines.” Almost half (41%) of the precincts reported machine failure on election day. Thus, the entire country declared a failure of elections. Before and after this, the company did not get support from international observers. The South Korean state withdrew support to the election after discovering Miru anomalies. It also distanced itself from the company.

Miru was also involved in election anomalies in Kyrgyzstan and Iraq. In 2018, Miru machines were declared “central” to electoral fraud in Iraq where machines bore signs of “tampering” and “hacking” to alter voting results. Because of this, manual counting of votes was carried out in some parts of the country.

One of the three local partner companies of Miru Systems in the Philippines is directly linked to the cabinet of the Marcos regime. Integrated Computer Systems is owned by George T. Barcelon, appointed by Ferdinand Marcos Jr in 2022 as the special private sector representative in the Legislative, Executive Development Advisory Council or LEDAC. He is currently president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and vice-president of ECOP.

The other two companies are St. Timothy Construction Corporation, and Centerpoint Solutions Technologies.

AB: Comelec awards 2025 contract to foreign company mired in fraud and anomalies