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Goodbye Koala Bear, Hello Nico

Good-bye ‘Koala Bear,’ ‘Hello Nico’

by Rey E. Requejo
Manila Standard Today
May 29, 2010

The Department of Justice will not prioritize election irregularities exposed by an informer better known to the public as “Koala Bear.” Instead, it will look into the so-called “Hello Nico” scandal and supposedly questionable compact flash cards used in the May 10 elections.

Justice Secretary Alberto Agra stressed that the so-called “Koala Bear” controversy will be looked into, but only to verify his role in the elections.

“On the side lang yun just to verify his involvement. That’s not a priority. That will be taken care of by NBI [National Bureau of Investigation],” he said.

“We are doing this for the Comelec. We are still in the election period until June 30 so that NBI, our prosecutors, and PNP are acting as deputies of the Comelec,” Agra added.

The Commission on Elections said it has already identified the person behind the allegations of“Koala Bear.”

“We already know who is behind him. He is a losing candidate,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.

The whistleblower earlier charged that he was part of vote padding and shaving operations during the elections.

Agra said he was confident that the department would conclude by June 15 the investigations into the “Hello Ronnie or Hello Nico” as well as the alleged irregularities in the compact flash cards and precinct count scan (PCOS) machines in connection with the May 10 elections.

According to him, a copy of the CD containing the alleged wiretapped phone conversation between Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno and Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer had already been turned over to NBI director Nestor Mantaring. Puno and Ferrer have denied that they are the persons in the conversation.

“Once the NBI wraps up the probe, it will submit its report to the DoJ for review. Once the DoJ finds probable cause, the next step is the filing of information in court,” Agra said.

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