FIVE Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) council winners in Bacolod City and seven youth candidates were given three days to answer the motu proprio complaint filed against them before the Office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila.
Bacolod City Election Registrar Mavil Majarucon-Sia said yesterday, June 12, they received the copies of the order on Friday, June 8, and it was already delivered to some respondents.
The Comelec Second Division order dated May 15, 2018, signed by Abigail Justine Cuaresma-Lilagan, acting clerk of the Commission, directed the respondents or their authorized representatives to personally file with the Office of the Clerk of the Commission a verified answer cum Memorandum with the original or certified true copy of evidence within a non-extendible period of three days from receipt hereof, copy furnished the petitioner through personal service with proof of receipt.
Pleadings and supporting documents or evidence should be filed in two legible Commissioned-bound copies simultaneously with a soft copy in accordance with the formal requirements provided under Comelec Resolution No. 9576.
A motion to dismiss shall not be admitted, but the grounds thereof may be raised as an affirmative defense, the order further stated.
The order stated that after the lapse of the given period, the case shall be submitted for proper action of the Commission Second Division.
The five SK councilors were Ramel Escaten of Barangay 11; Eugene Mallorca of Barangay 25; Sherlyn Latoza of Barangay 26; Noli Sanchez of Barangay Felisa; and Maiko Lim of Barangay 37.
Majarucon-Sia said last month, they submitted the lists of the 14 SK candidates to the Comelec Law Department for being overage.
Of the 14, two candidates withdrew their candidacy.
She said of the 12 remaining SK candidates, only five won during Barangay and SK elections on May 14.
She added that aside of the five winners, the seven other candidates still need to reply the Commission's order to avoid legal implications.
Majarucon-Sia noted that when the respondents filed their certificate of candidacy (COC), they insisted that they are qualified to run.
Under the law, candidates who are qualified to run for the SK posts should only be between 18 to 24 years old. They should not be more than 24 years old on the day of the election.
The Comelec Law Department filed motu proprio petition to deny due course to and or cancel the certificate of candidacy.
Majarucon-Sia said if the five SK winners fail to answer the complaint and Comelec will release its final order, then they cannot assume their office because their certificate of candidacy was canceled.
(Filing of Statement of Contributions Expenditure)
Meanwhile, Majarucon-Sia said that today, June 13, is the deadline for all the candidates, both winners and losers, to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) during the Barangay and SK elections.
She said they also sent notices to all the candidates, but as of yesterday, June 12, about 40 percent of the candidates had filed their SOCE.
She added the deadline for the submission of the SOCE has no extension.
For the late filing of SOCE, they could submit it to the Comelec Manila, but they already have legal implications.
Majarucon-Sia disclosed that if the winning candidates fail to submit its SOCE, they are not allowed to assume office on June 30, while the losing candidates may also face administrative penalty or disqualification to run for public office.