The Commission on Elections has directed 12 Sangguniang Kabataan candidates in the May 14 elections, who were found to be overaged, to file their answers at the Office of the Clerk of the Comelec in Manila within three days from receipt of the order.
An order dated May 15, signed by acting Clerk of the Commission, Abigail Justine Cuaresma-Lilagan, directed the election officer of Bacolod to serve the copy of the order to the 12 SK candidates who include five winning SK Kagawads: Ramel Escaten of Brgy. 11, Eugene Mallorca of Brgy. 25, Noli Sanchez of Brgy. Felisa, Sherlyn Latoza of Brgy. 26 and Kim Maiko Lim of Brgy. 37.
Bacolod Election Officer Mavil Majarucon-Sia said yesterday that of the14 overaged SK candidates she had reported to the Legal Department, two withdrew, so there are still 12 left.
Majarucon-Sia said the 12 candidates are being required either by the Comelec First or Second Divisions to file answers to the cases filed against them by the Law Department, or “Motuproprio petition to deny due course to and/or cancel certificates of candidacy.”
She said if they do not answer and if their certificates of candidacy (COC) are cancelled, definitely, they cannot assume office on June 30.
Even those who did not win also have to answer the case filed by the Comelec because this might entail legal implications like criminal liability, she added.
Majarucon-Sia said the Comelec filed the petition against overaged SK candidates on May 13. They received only recently the order of the Comelec directing the SK candidates to file their answers within three days upon its receipt.
She said they had insisted before the elections that they are qualified to run because the law states that the age for an SK candidate is 18 to 24 years old. They believe that they are still 24 years old because they had not yet reached 25 years old.
Majarucon-Sia said they should personally file their answer before the Comelec First or Second Division in Manila.
Meanwhile, Majarucon-Sia said that, as of yesterday, only 30 to 40 percent of the candidates have filed their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE). Since today is the deadline for the filing of SOCE, they expect the candidates to flock to the Comelec Office, she said.
She said the candidates were told to file their SOCE 30 days after the election. Aside from personal notices mailed to them, they were also reminded through text messages and posted additional reminders in the barangays.
Majarucon-Sia said that if many will file their SOCE today, they plan to transfer to the BAYS Center so all could be accommodated.
Winning candidates, who fail to file their SOCE, will not be allowed to assume office on June 30. They will furnish the Department of Interior and Local Government a list of those who have filed and those who failed to file their SOCE,she said.
Losing candidates, who fail to file their SOCE, will be sent an order by the Campaign Finance Unit of the Comelec. The penalty for the first offense is administrative fine, depending on their position. Second offenders could be meted an administrative fine, plus disqualification to run for public office, Majarucon said.
There is no extension for the filing of SOCE. If there are late filers, they have to send their SOCE directly to the Campaign Finance Unit of the Comelec in Manila, she said.*CGS
back to top