Comelec: 500 bets face perpetual disqualification over non-filing of SOCE | Inquirer News

Comelec: 500 bets face perpetual disqualification over non-filing of SOCE

/ 06:52 PM May 06, 2022
Comelec: 500 bets face perpetual disqualification over non-filing of SOCE

FILE PHOTO: Comelec Commissioner George Garcia speaks to members of the press. John Eric Mendoza/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — A poll body official reminded candidates to disclose their campaign expenses with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) amid pending petitions seeking the perpetual disqualification of some 500 bets for failure to file the said documents for two straight elections.

“Nakadalawa na po sila nung 2019 at saka yung 2016, mga mukhang hindi po nakapag-file ng kanilang mga SOCE (Statement of Contributions and Expenditures) e ang atin pong patakaran diyan at may desisyon po ang Korte Suprema na kapag hindi po nakapag-file ng dalawang eleksyon ng SOCE, ‘yan po ay may perpetual disqualification bilang parusa,” Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said in a Teleradyo interview on Friday.

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(They’ve already failed to file their SOCE twice, in 2019 and in 2016, our rule there and the Supreme Court has a decision on that, that if you fail to file for two consecutive elections, perpetual disqualification is the penalty.)

Garcia warned candidates for the 2022 elections that they may also face perpetual disqualification should they fail to file their SOCE for two consecutive polls.

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This penalty will be enforced even if the candidate in question wins, according to the Comelec official.

“Yung mga tumatakbo ngayon, aba ‘yun pong hindi nakapag-file ng dalawang beses ng SOCE, naku, kayo po ay pwedeng ma-disqualify at ito po ay perpetual disqualification to hold public office,” Garcia said.

(Those running now, those who have yet to file their SOCE twice, you can be disqualified and  this is perpetual disqualification to hold public office.)

“Kahit manalo po sila, sila po’y tatanggalin natin dahil ito po’y isang parusa na nakalagay mismo sa ating batas,” he added.

(Even if they will, they will be removed because this is the penalty, this is under the law.)

In a media forum on Thursday, Garcia assured that the Comelec was serious about going after candidates who fail to submit their SOCE.

“Ang aming campaign finance office…are always filing petitions to disqualify perpetually candidates who fail to submit SOCE for two consecutive elections,” he said.

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Citing the Supreme Court, Garcia noted that the Comelec has the “right” to “perpetually disqualify them” if they commit the said violation.

“Nagpa-file po patuloy, ang dami pong nai-file ng Comelec campiagn finance [office], kung ‘di ako nagkakamali, kulang-kulang mga 500 individuals na pina-filean natin ng petition for perpetual disqualification,” he added.

(They are filing continuously, the Comelec campaign finance office, if I’m not mistaken, petitions against more or less 500 individuals have been filed for their perpetual disqualification.)

“It will have to undergo the process of requiring them to file an answer and conducting the necessary hearing and afterward the Comelec will resolve whether to disqualify these candidates,” he also said.

Garcia told candidates that filing their SOCE indicates if they “really deserve the position” they are vying for.

“Huwag ninyo pong babaliwalain ‘yung pagpa-file ng SOCE, para din po ‘yang pagpa-file ng SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth),” he said.

(Don’t disregard filing your SOCE, it’s similar to filing your SALN.)

“If you want to become accountable and transparent and at the same time to prove to the electorate that you really deserve the position you are vying for, then follow whatever the Comelec says as far as filing anything or any document is concerned, more particularly, a SOCE,” he added.

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TAGS: 2022 elections, Campaign Expenses, Comelec, May 9, Nation, News, SOCE
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