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SOCE filing deadline firm – Comelec

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN / CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Roberto Salazar, surrounded by documents for submission to Comelec, prepares for his return to his previous assignment in Aklan, following the end of election period on June 8.* GPB photo

Provincial Comelec Supervisor Roberto Salazar reported that 50 percent of candidates running for provincial and congressional posts in Negros Occidental during the May 9 elections, have filed their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) as the deadline ended yesterday.

Salazar said there is no extension in the filing of SOCEs.

As mandated by the Comelec, he said that candidates who either won or lost in the elections, or even those who have withdrawn, are required to file their SOCEs.

The fines for failure to file SOCEs range from P2,000 to P30,000, along with disqualification from holding public office, Salazar said.

The first to file their SOCEs at the Provincial Comelec Office were husband and wife – Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer and Rep. Juliet Marie Ferrer on May 24, United Negros Alliance, Anthony Javelosa, Manuel Frederick Ko, Cleo Gaudite, Rita Gatuslao, Anthony Dennis Occeño, Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, Jeffrey Tubola;

Samson Mirhan, Araceli Somosa, Sixto Guanzon Jr, Antonio Barello Jr, Mercedes Alvarez, Gerardo Valmayor, Rommel Debulgado, Valentino Miguel Alonso, Alfredo Marañon III, Andrew Martin Torres and Jose Francisco Benitez, Comelec records show.

Salazar said that Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson also filed his SOCE.

BACOLOD CANDIDATES

Three out of the 48 local candidates in Bacolod City failed to file their Certificates of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) before the Commission on Elections Bacolod Field Office during the deadline yesterday.

They are losing candidates for councilor Homer Bais and Patrick Lacson of Team Asenso, along with outgoing Councilor Archie Baribar of Grupo Progreso. Baribar ranked 13, Bais – 15 and Lacson -17 in the polls.

Among the candidates who filed their SOCE’s during the deadline yesterday were:

Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, Councilors Israel Salanga, Al Victor Espino and Simple Distrito, incoming councilors Celia Flor and Jason Villarosa, congressional candidates Nonong San Miguel and Dan Atayde, vice mayoralty candidate Caesar Distrito, among others.

DEADLINE, PENALTIES

Republic Act 7166 requires every candidate and political party to submit their respective SOCE within 30 days from the day of the election (May 9).

Under RA 7166, winning candidates who fail to submit their SOCE will be banned from assuming their posts until they file their statements.

Candidates who fail to submit their SOCE’s for the second time will be subject to perpetual disqualification to hold public office, while those who exceeded their campaign spending limits may face possible election offense charges.

As to the verification of declared campaign expenses, Salazar said it will be the job of the Campaign Finance Office of the Comelec.*

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