Over 400 politicians face disquali¿cation
THE COMMISSION ON Elections (Comelec) said it has filed perpetual disqualification charges against more than 400 individuals, including two senatorial bets, for their alleged failure to file Statements of Contribution and Expenditures (SOCES). Data from the Comelec-campaign Finance Office (CFO) showed that a total of 460 people failed to file their SOCES in violation of a provision of Republic Act 7166, otherwise known as “Synchronized National and Local Elections and Electoral Reform Act.” On top of the list are former Senator Serge Osmeña and Hussein Albani, who both failed to file their SOCES in the 2010 and 2016, when they ran in the senatorial polls. Both have filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COCS) for senator in the May 2019 mid-term elections. The CFO report covered the last four elections held in the country from 2007 until 2016. It also showed that for local positions, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, was recorded to have the majority number of offenders with 254. It is followed by Northern Mindanao with 30 people; Bicol Region, 22; Calabarzon, 20; Western Visayas, 18; Cordillera Administrative Region, 17. Eastern Visayas and Soccsksargen have each 14 people who failed to file SOCES while National Capital Region and Cagayan Valley both had 11. Regions with 10 and below number of offenders are Central Luzon and Zamboanga Peninsula with 10 each; Mimaropa with eight; Ilocos Region with seven; Davao Region with five; Central Visayas with four; and Caraga with three. Section 14 of Republic Act 7166 requires the filing of SOCE by all those who participated in the elections. Failure to submit the requirement document prohibits winning candidates from assuming their office until they have complied.