By Leslie Ann Aquino
Candidates for the May 14, 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections were reminded by the Commission on Elections to file their statements of election contributions and expenditures (SOCE).
The poll body said ćandidates should file their SOCE not later than June 13, 2018, or risk being perpetually disqualified to hold public office.
“Win or lose, all candidates must file their SOCE,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said in a statement.
A candidate is any person seeking an elective public office who has filed a certificate of candidacy (COC).
The period of filing of COC started last Saturday, April 14, and will end on Friday, April 20.
On April 13, the Comelec Campaign Finance Office (CFO) published on the website a list of 105 candidates declared with finality by the Commission as perpetually disqualified to hold public office due to repeated failure to file their SOCE after elections.
“We have always said that the Barangay is where the public directly experiences our government,” said Jimenez.
“Therefore, our frontline public officials must be sterling exemplars of upright, law-abiding citizens to the public whom they pledge to serve,” he added.
Section 14 of R.A. 7166 requires the filing of SOCE, and failure to do so prohibits winning candidates from entering upon the duties of their office until they have complied.
The commission of a second or subsequent failure to file the SOCE subjects the offender to perpetual disqualification to hold public office.