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Roque-vs-Comelec-Correct-Case

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Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
Republic of the Philippines
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SUPREME COURT
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Manila
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EN BANC
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H. HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., JOEL R. BUTUYAN,
ROMEL R. BAGARES, ALLAN JONES F.
LARDIZABAL, GILBERT T. ANDRES,
IMMACULADA D. GARCIA, ERLINDA T.
MERCADO, FRANCISCO A. ALCUAZ, MA.
AZUCENA P. MACEDA, and ALVIN A. PETERS,
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cralaw Petitioners,
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cralaw - versus -
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COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS,
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Represented by HON. CHAIRMAN JOSE MELO,
COMELEC SPECIAL BIDS and AWARDS
COMMITTEE, represented by its CHAIRMAN HON.
FERDINAND RAFANAN, DEPARTMENT OF
BUDGET and MANAGEMENT, represented by
HON. ROLANDO ANDAYA, TOTAL INFORMATION
MANAGEMENT CORPORATION and
SMARTMATIC INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION,
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cralaw Respondents.
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PETE QUIRINO-QUADRA,
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cralaw Petitioner-in-Intervention.
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SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by its
President, JUAN PONCE ENRILE,
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cralaw Movant-Intervenor.
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G.R. No. 188456
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Present:
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PUNO, C.J.,
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QUISUMBING,
*
cralaw
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YNARES-SANTIAGO,
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CARPIO,
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CORONA,
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CARPIO MORALES,
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CHICO-NAZARIO,
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VELASCO, JR.,
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NACHURA,
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LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,
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BRION,
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PERALTA,
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BERSAMIN,
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DEL CASTILLO, and
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ABAD, JJ.
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Promulgated:
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cralaw
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September 10, 2009
x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x
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D E C I S I O N
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VELASCO, JR., J.:
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In a democratic system of government, the peoples voice is sovereign. Corollarily, choosing through the ballots the men and women who
are to govern the country is perhaps the highest exercise of democracy. cralaw It is thus the interest of the state to insure honest, credible
and peaceful elections, where the sanctity of the votes and the secrecy of the ballots are safeguarded, where the will of the electorate is
not frustrated or undermined. For when the popular will itself is subverted by election irregularities, then the insidious seeds of doubt are
sown and the ideal of a peaceful and smooth transition of power is placed in jeopardy. To automate, thus breaking away from a manual
system of election, has been viewed as a significant step towards clean and credible elections, unfettered by the travails of the long wait
and cheating that have marked many of our electoral exercises.
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The Commission on Elections (Comelec), private respondents, the National Computer Center and other computer wizards are confident
that nationwide automated elections can be successfully implemented. Petitioners and some skeptics in the information technology (IT)
industry have, however, their reservations, which is quite understandable. To them, the automated election system and the
untested technology Comelec has chosen and set in motion are pregnant with risks and could lead to a disastrous failure of elections.
Comelec, they allege, would not be up to the challenge. Cheating on a massive scale, but this time facilitated by a machine, is perceived
to be a real possibility.
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cralaw
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In this petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with prayer for a restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, petitioners H.
Harry L. Roque, Jr., et al., suing as taxpayers and concerned citizens, seek to nullify respondent Comelecs award of the 2010 Elections
Automation Project (automation project) to the joint venture of Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) and Smartmatic
International Corporation (Smartmatic)
[1]
and to permanently prohibit the Comelec, TIM and Smartmatic from signing and/or implementing
the corresponding contract-award.
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By Resolution
[2]
of July 14, 2009, the Court directed the respondents as well as the University of the Philippines (UP) Computer Center,
National Computer Center (NCC) and Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines (Infotech, hereinafter) to submit their
collective or separate comments to the petition on or before July 24, 2009. cralaw Before any of the comments could actually be filed,
Atty. Pete Quirino-Quadra sought leave to intervene. In another resolution, the Court allowed the intervention and admitted the
corresponding petition-in-intervention.
[3]
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On July 29, 2009, the Court heard the principal parties in oral arguments which was followed by the submission of their and the resource
persons instructive, albeit clashing, memoranda. The Senate, through the Senate President, would later join the fray via a Motion for
Leave to Intervene. In a Resolution of August 25, 2009, the Court admitted the Senates comment-in-intervention.
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From the petition, the separate comments thereon, with their respective annexes, and other pleadings, as well as from admissions during
the oral arguments, the Court gathers the following facts:
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Republic of the Philippines  SUPREME COURT Manila  Republic of the Philippines chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary SUPREME COURT chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Manila chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary   chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary EN BANC chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary   H. HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., JOEL R. BUTUYAN, ROMEL R. BAGARES, ALLAN JONES F. LARDIZABAL, GILBERT T. ANDRES, IMMACULADA D. GARCIA, ERLINDA T. MERCADO, FRANCISCO A. ALCUAZ, MA. AZUCENA P. MACEDA, and ALVIN A. PETERS, chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary cralaw Petitioners, chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary cralaw - versus - chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary   chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Represented by HON. CHAIRMAN JOSE MELO, COMELEC SPECIAL BIDS and AWARDS COMMITTEE, represented by its CHAIRMAN HON. FERDINAND RAFANAN, DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET and MANAGEMENT, represented by HON. ROLANDO ANDAYA, TOTAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT CORPORATION and SMARTMATIC INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary cralaw Respondents. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary   chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary PETE QUIRINO-QUADRA, chanroblesvirtuallawlib ...
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