WITH the newly-elected local executives assuming office on June 30 2019, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Central Visayas reminded all the electoral candidates to file their Statement of Contribution and Expenditures (Soce) by June 13.
“We have deadline and they know that. Those who won the elections, but fail to submit their Soce by June 13 could not assume office. Moreover, if they fail twice, they will be perpetually disqualified from holding any public office,” said lawyer Veronico Petalcorin, acting Comelec Central Visayas regional director.
He said most of the electoral candidates are used to filing their Soce on the last day of filing.
Petalcorin, during a critique session attended by the officials from the Police Regional Office (PRO) Central Visayas, Philippine Coast Guard, and Armed Forces of the Philippines last Wednesday, June 4, said he welcomes any electoral protests as it is the ‘usual’ scenario every after the polls.
“Let the process go. I just hope that they will be satisfied to whatever the result of the investigation is. When they run, that means they already submit to and trust our system,” he said.
Former congressman and mayor Arturo “Boy” Radaza and his nephew, Harry Don Radaza, formally filed an election protest against Lapu-Lapu City mayor-elect Junard “Ahong” Chan and vice mayor-elect Celsi Sitoy at the Comelec en banc in Manila on Friday, May 24, the last day for filing electoral protests.
Petalcorin added that they would try to better the election process by working on its “glitches.”
“Katong mga glitches nato, mga SD cards, di man na kalikayan nga maguba kay imposible man na nga ang butang dili maguba. Ang ako lang, bisan og naa'y maguba, aduna ta'y enough nga mga contingency machines,” he said.
(The glitches, the failing SD cards, we can't avoid these problems because it is impossible for these things to be always intact. In my opinion, even if these fail, there should've been enough contingency machines.)
Moreover, he said the region’s voter turnout this year has reached to 81 percent, surpassing their targeted 80 percent for this year.
“That is an evidence that democracy is alive and the people exercised their rights to vote,” he said.
He then clarified that one could not automatically associate issues of death threats as the reason why the remaining voting population did not cast their vote.
“The figure does not speak for itself. There are a lot of factors. One is maybe, some names who were already transferred to other places were not yet erased from their previous precincts,” he said in vernacular.
“Actually it does not prove that because of fear, some did not vote. Also maybe the hot temperature during the elections discouraged them from going outside of their house and from participating in the poll,” PRO Central Visayas Director Debold Sinas added.