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DOJ asked to hasten probe on ‘Hello Nico’, Susano CF cards

August 21, 2010 1:55am

The government’s poll body on Friday asked the Justice Department to expedite its probe on two cases related to the May 2010 elections: one involving a lawmaker’s possession of compact flash (CF) cards from the last elections, and the alleged involvement of an election official with poll irregularities.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rene Sarmiento called on Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to release the results of its investigation on the possession of former Quezon City Rep. Annie Rosa Susano of two CF cards, and the “Hello Nico" tape recording that allegedly involves Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer.

Sarmiento said the self-imposed deadline of the Department of Justice (DOJ) has already lapsed but they have yet to receive any updates.

"May timetable sila na sinubmit and until now wala pa. So, sana man lang ma-complete yung investigation… medyo may katagalan na," he said.

(They submitted a timetable but until now we don’t have it. So we hope that they will at least complete the investigation, it’s taken quite too long already.)

He likewise urged the DOJ to speed up its investigation “so there will be no repeat of these incidents in future elections (and) we can learn lessons from these cases.

Sarmiento recalled that former Justice Secretary Alberto Agra vowed to complete the probe on the two incidents by June 15, with the reports to be immediately forwarded to the Comelec.

In May, Agra said the DOJ and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) would take only three weeks to complete the probe on Susano’s unauthorized possession of the CF cards. (See: Comelec mulls filing charges vs QC lawmaker)

Susano presented the CF cards in a Congressional hearing a week after the May 2010 elections were concluded, and claimed that they were used to rig the results of the Quezon City mayoral race where she lost to then QC Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista.

Apart from Susano, Commissioner Ferrer was likewise investigated after an alleged taped conversation between him Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno circulated on the Internet. (See: Alleged taped conversation between Comelec exec, operator circulating online)

The conversation allegedly centered on manipulating the local and national elections.

The Comelec earlier asked the DOJ and the NBI to investigate the two cases.Jerrie M. Abella/JV, GMANews.TV
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