30 Davao del Sur politicians fined for failing to file campaign fund, expense reports
DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has fined at least 30 politicians who ran for various posts in the 2013 elections in Davao del Sur, for not filing their statements of election contribution and expenditures (SOCE) or for failing to submit complete supporting documents.
Ma. Febes Barlaan, provincial election supervisor, said those fined included members of the prominent Cagas clan.
She said that former governor Douglas Cagas – who ran for mayor of this city – was fined for submitting a SOCE with incomplete attachment.
Barlaan did not say how much fine Cagas had incurred.
“Most of those fined lacked supporting documents. Almost all candidates (were fined), except for members of the Bautista family,” Barlaan said.
Rosemarie Paguirigan, election officer of the Matanao town, said based on the list she got, provincial board member Lani Gabutero was also made to pay P8,000 for failure to attach a complete set of supporting documents to her SOCE.
Paguirigan said among those made to pay fines in Matanao was acting Mayor Elmer Javelona for failure to submit an acknowledgement receipt for donated campaign materials by a private individual.
Paguirigan said the Comelec could not be faulted because it has given politicians so much time to comply with the requirement for filing the SOCE.
The poll body even extended the deadline for the filing of SOCEs by over a year to June 30, 2014 from the original date of June 13, 2013.
“This should serve as a lesson for them,” Barlaan said.
Paguirigan said politicians who would again defy the Comelec requirement might be perpetually disqualified.
She cited the case of broadcaster Kent Tabay Lacia, who twice ran for councilor and also failed to submit his SOCE.
“He got a perpetual disqualification notice because he failed to submit SOCE for two consecutive elections,” Paguirigan said.
She has reminded politicians that the filing of SOCE is a mandatory requirement for all candidates, even for election losers.
“All candidates, even independent ones, must submit their SOCE,” Paguirigan said. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.