Supreme Court: Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying Smartmatic
Supreme Court: Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying Smartmatic
Supreme Court: Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying Smartmatic
by Christhel Cuazon17 April 2024

The Supreme Court (SC) ruled that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) committed grave abuse when it disqualified multinational company Smartmatic Philippines Inc. from participating in all of its procurement processes.

In a press briefing in Baguio City on Wednesday, SC spokesperson Atty. Camille Ting said the SC granted Smartmatic’s petition for certiorari questioning Comelec’s decision last April 16, with Associate Justice Jose Midas Marquez penning the ruling.

A certiorari is a legal remedy used to review a decision of another body or review grave abuse of discretion.


However, the High Court noted that the finding is not enough to nullify the public or award the contract for the vote-counting machines for the 2025 elections to South Korean firm Miru Systems.

"[The SC] held that Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it disqualified Smartmatic before it had submitted any bids, without any reference to the eligibility requirements prescribed by its Bids and Awards Committee," Ting told reporters.

In November 2023, the COMELEC disqualified Smartmatic from all procurements of the poll body due to allegations of bribery against former Comelec chairperson Juan Andres “Andy” Bautista “in exchange for awarding a contract for election machines to Smartmatic Corp."


Smartmatic then expressed "profound disappointment" in Comelec for removing them from the bidding on the 2025 contract for election technology — a decision that they are unaware of.

Significant victory

In a statement, Smartmatic welcomed the ruling of the Supreme Court, calling it a "significant victory for fairness and the rule of law."

“We welcome the Supreme Court’s ruling in our favor, which restores justice and sends a clear message to those at the helm of Comelec that due process matters," Smartmatic spokesman Christian Robert Lim said in the statement.

"By rectifying Comelec’s questionable decision, the Court not only vindicated Smartmatic but also set a crucial precedent for upholding transparency and accountability in public procurement processes,” he added.


The verdict, according to the multinational company, dealt "a blow against the questionable actions of certain Comelec commissioners which include the sudden and random declaration of the VCMs as unserviceable despite several more years of functionality and ongoing warranty."

listen Live
DZRH News Live Streaming
Most Read