Only 1 bet fails to submit SOCE

2019 ELECTIONS

ONLY one of the 44 candidates for the provincial and congressional posts in the May polls failed to submit his Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Pangasinan office in Dagupan City.

Lawyer Eric Oganiza, the acting provincial election supervisor, said the candidate whom he did not identify, ran for representative of the Fourth District “but was not seen around campaigning”.

“He could have withdrawn his candidacy earlier if he was not really serious in his congressional bid so that we would not have one aspirant who did not submit his SOCE despite our notices,” he said.

Oganiza said the reports of the municipal and city election offices have not reached his office at press time following the deadline of submission of SOCE on June 13.

All the SOCEs submitted to their office will be forwarded to their central office that shall review them. The submitted SOCEs will be reviewed by the Comelec’s Campaign Finance Office to determine if they exceeded the campaign expense limit.

A candidate who has not submitted his SOCE twice in two elections where he or she ran may be disqualified already to run in succeeding elections even if he or she has paid the penalties, he added.

He cited the case of then Laguna governor ER Ejercito who was convicted for campaign overspending.

Oganiza added that one candidate in Pangasinan was also similarly charged criminally for overspending. He said it was he who caused the submission of the filing of the case at the regional trial court in Urdaneta City but the accused was already dead while the case is still pending.

“If something is lacking in the submitted SOCE, they will simply be notified through a letter to comply,” Oganiza said.

Winning candidates can still comply within six months after the elections but the Department of Interior and Local Government will not allow them to assume their post unless they have submitted their certificate of compliance from the Comelec. (PhilStar Wire Service)

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