Experts reacting to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr.’s response to The Manila Times banner story on Friday, January 11 “Smartmatic and Comelec collusion bared”—insist
that the way the poll body rejected bidders and ended up awarding the contract to Smartmatic was illegal and indicated collusion.
On Dec 12, 2012, the House of Representatives voted on HB 4244 (An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development).
The draft bill advanced to the second reading by a very slim margin of 113 “ayes” to 104 “nayes.” Three solons abstained and 62 others did not cast their votes. The week after, the draft bill passed on 3rd reading, with an improvement in the margin: 133 “ayes” to79 “nayes.” A good number of solons remained on the fence, either opting to abstain or choosing not to cast their votes.