FOUR candidates from Cebu may be disqualified in perpetuity for failing to submit their statement of contributions and expenditures (Soce) in the past elections.
They are Edgar Pangandoyon, who is running for a seat in the Argao Municipal Council under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC); Manuel Sanchez, who is seeking a seat in the Naga City Council under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan-Democratic Party of the Philippines; Jose Dodjie Abines, a candidate for councilor in Oslob under NPC; and Antonio Vargas, an independent candidate for councilor in Talisay City.
However, Acting Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Jerome Brillantes said the four candidates have a chance to answer the allegation in a hearing, adding that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) central office has yet to disqualify them.
According to Comelec, Pangandoyon failed to submit his Soce in 2010 and 2013; Sanchez, in 2007 and 2010; Abines, in 2007 and 2010; and Vargas, also in 2007 and 2010.
Section 14 of Republic Act 7166, also known as the Synchronized National and Local Elections and for Electoral Reforms, mandates all candidates (winners and losers) and treasurers of political parties to submit their Soce within 30 days after the elections.
A winner is barred from performing his duty if he fails to submit it. If he violates the provision for the second time, the candidate is banned from government service for all time.
Brillantes said the poll office still accepted the certificates of candidacy (COCs) of the four candidates even if they are subject to disqualification, as this is only a ministerial duty of the Comelec.
“Our office doesn’t have any jurisdiction or discretion to turn down these people once they submit their COCs. As long as their COCs have no errors or defects, we don’t have any decision except to accept it. We can’t say that we can’t accept their COCs because they have a pending disqualification case,” he said in Cebuano.
He said a political party can file a disqualification case against an “erring” candidate 15 days after the filing of COCs.
If the candidate wins the election, the complainant can file an election protest 10 days after the proclamation. (From SCG of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)