Comelec: No clues yet on source of 'Hello Nico' tape

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to identify the source of the supposed taped conversation between Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno and Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer regarding an alleged plot to rig the May 10 automated polls.

Comelec chairman Jose Melo said multiple “layers" on the website where the conversation was originally posted made it difficult for the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to determine the source.

"Wala pa kasi nga may layering (We have no clues yet because there are so many layers to the website)," he told reporters in a chance interview Tuesday.

He said the multiple layering only showed that the people behind the website intended to keep their identities secret.

"Talagang tinatago (Their identities are well-hidden), there is an intention to hide," Melo said.

Melo reiterated that Ferrer and the other commissioners were not involved in any plot to manipulate the recent elections. Ferrer had earlier said that he has never talked to Puno in his life. Puno had likewise denied talking to Ferrer.

Melo said that like Ferrer, the commission might file charges against the culprit once he or she is identified. "Pwede natin idemanda, dinadawit ang mga tao ditong inosente (We can file charges, they are tagging innocent people here)," he said.

The Comelec has tasked the DOJ to investigate the alleged taped conversation. DOJ acting secretary Alberto Agra met with Melo early Tuesday about the matter.

In 2004, a conversation about alleged vote-rigging between a woman presumed to be President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and a man presumed to be then Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano was recorded on tape. When it surfaced in 2005, it became known as the "Hello Garci" controversy.

Source: GmaNews


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