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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, June 4, 2012
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SC ruling on PCOS
machines expected

BY CARLA GOMEZ

The Commission on Elections is expecting a Supreme Court ruling by June 15 on its purchase of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines that were used in the 2010 polls, COMELEC chairman Sixto Brillantes said yesterday.

In April the high court had issued a temporary restraining order against the P1.8-billion contract of Comelec to buy the 82,000 PCOS machines that the poll body plans to use again in the 2013 elections.

Brillantes said the machines used in the 2010 polls were lease-purchased by the COMELEC for about P7 billion, with 70 percent already paid. The remaining amount is P1.8 billion, he said.

To bid for new machines would could cost the government a lot more money, he said, adding that he does not think there will be enough funds for that.

It would be cheaper to use the same machines used in 2010 as they have already been adjusted and improved on, Brillantes added.

Meanwhile, he said it is too late for the United Negros Alliance to oppose a coalition of parties in Manila from using the name United Nationalist Alliance.

The COMELEC has already approved the group’s use of the name, Brillantes said.

Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. had earlier said that his group is opposing the use of the acronym UNA, which is what the United Negros Alliance, as an accredited local party, has been using for four years already.

Marañon said his group will see if they can still appeal the COMELEC ruling on the United Nationalist Alliance use of UNA as its name.*CPG

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