There is news that Total Information Management Corporation (TIM), Smartmatics International’s local partner in the winning bid for the automation of the 2010 elections, plans to back out of the joint venture agreement with the latter. This poses a big problem not only for Smartmatics but also to the Commission on Elections and to the whole prospect of an automated election. There is simply no more time to conduct a rebid.
TIM’s owners and executives should rethink their position. It will not only land them with a criminal case on their laps (based on the rules of the procurement law), but can also be interpreted as a sabotage of the whole automated election project. If the latter, they should be prepared for the legal and political consequences of their unpatriotic act.
If this is just a case of internal squabble over profit shares–or even over corporate joint-venture relations–there is no reason to bring the whole thing to a case of violation of the national interest. They should honor their commitment in their bid participation.
TIM would do well to remember its dubious role in the 2004 elections, when its Supreme Court case inadvertently led to to the scrapping of the automated elections then. Then, we were forced to revert to manual elections–the result was the political crisis of presidential legitimacy we still suffers up to now.
In 2010, TIM’s decision to back out of the project borders on sabotage. They would do well to rethink their position.