TWO losing presidential candidates in May 10 elections topped the list of 18 national bets who failed to submit their respective Statements of Campaign Contributions and Expenditures.
Based on the records from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Law department, John Carlos delos Reyes of Ang Kapatiran Party and Bro. Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas Party neglected the June 24 deadline to file their statements.
On the other hand, Senator Sergio Osmeña III, who is making a comeback as a lawmaker also failed to submit his expenditure report.
Section 14 of the Republic Act 7166 or the Synchronized National And Local Elections Law states that “no person elected to any public offices shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has filed the statement of contributions and expenditures required”.
Lawyer Ferdinand Rafanan said that it is the Senate who will decide on whether or not it will allow the winning senatorial candidate to seat in the upper house.
“It will depend on the Senate now, on their own rules, on whether one can sit without filing a statement or not,” he said.
However, he added that the non-filing of a statement could also be a ground for some sectors to question his eligibility to sit in the Upper Chamber.
“The matter is not with us anymore. Once we proclaimed the candidate, we are already out of the equation,” the Comelec official explained.
Losing vice presidential candidate Jay Sonza also failed to submit his statement.
The other losing senatorial bets who ignored the June 24 deadline were, Neric Acosta (Liberal Party), Shariff Alloni (Independent), Zaffrullah Alonto (Bangon Pilipinas), Henry Carreon (Independent), Kata Inocencio (Bangon Pilipinas), Alma Lood (Kilusang Bagong Lipunan), Liza Maza (Independent), Adz Nikabulin (Bangon Pilipinas), Ramoncito Ocampo (Bangon Pilipinas), Jovito Palparan (Independent), Rodolfo Plaza (Nationalist People’s Coalition), Adrian Sison (Ang Kapatiran), Alex Tinsay (Bangon Pilipinas), and Hector Villanueva (Kilusang Bagong Lipunan).
Under RA 7166, losing candidates who failed to submit their statements means they have to pay a fine of P1,000 to P30,000 for the first offense and a fine of P2,000 to P60,000 plus lifetime disqualification from public office for the second offense.
For the local candidates, it is the responsibility of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) if they will allow the winning candidates to assume office even if they failed to submit the documents on their spending and contribution in the last elections. (FP/Sunnex)