[News] Lesson from the SOCE: Submit properly, with signature affixed

Legal counsel Atty. Joel Montealto shows the copy of Governor Vilma Santos - Recto's submitted SOCE to the Comelec (photo by MARLON LUISTRO / TFC)

 

Legal counsel Atty. Joel Montealto shows the copy of Governor Vilma Santos - Recto's submitted SOCE to the Comelec (photo by MARLON LUISTRO / TFC)

Legal counsel Atty. Joel Montealto shows the copy of Governor Vilma Santos – Recto’s submitted SOCE to the Comelec (photo by MARLON LUISTRO / TFC)

 

BATANGAS CITY–Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto had re-submitted her Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE), eluding what could have been a local political crisis amid her landslide victory in the local elections last May.

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[News] Comelec: 670 brgy electoral bets in Lipa may face fines

 

LIPA CITY–At least 670 candidates in the recent October barangay elections here may be penalized by the Commission on Elections for failing to submit their required Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures  (SOCE) on the deadline date.

Election Officer Atty. Candy Orense told The Filipino Connection only 817 out of the 1,487 candidates who ran in the previous elections filed their respective SOCEs well within the poll body’s November 27 deadline to submit the said declaration.

Most of the candidates who did not submit their SOCEs were losing bets. Winners of the recent elections beat the deadline.

“Maybe because these candidates think that once they lose the elections, they are no longer required to file (their elections spending), which is wrong,” Orense said.

Section 14 of the Republic Act 7166 requires every candidate and a treasurer of a political party will have to file their SOCE within 30 days after election (i.e. last November 27).

SOCE is a document that lists the candidate’s campaign contributions received, the name of the contributor, the amounts of the donations, as well as the receipts to prove how the money was spent at the course of the campaign. Election laws limit the campaign spending of barangay candidates to P5 per registered voter.

Those who failed to submit their SOCEs could face administrative penalties of P1,000 to P30,000 for the first offense, while second-time violators could face fines of P2,000 to P60,000 and perpetual disqualification to run for public office.

Non-submission of SOCEs also constitutes an election offense punishable under the Omnibus Election Code, with penalties ranging from one to six years imprisonment, deprivation of the right to vote and disqualification to hold public office.

Orense likewise said that they have already referred the names of those who did not file their SOCEs to the Comelec’s Legal Department for appropriate action.

Lipa City has 153,024 registered voters in this year’s barangay polls, which both the Comelec and local police dubbed as “generally peaceful.”

 

This story can be published, broadcast and/or posted online provided The Filipino Connection and the artiche’s author/s are properly acknowledged. Editorial mistakes are the publisher’s. 

 

 

[Headlines] Batangas confronts looming poll violence

The Batangueno police force has always been on guard during elections, especially since the province remains to be an election hotspot. 

Photo by Marlon Luistro (The Filipino Connection)

 

BATANGAS CITY——Elections in this country, even when automated voting became the major electoral reform measure three years ago, never felt entirely peaceful. Two men sitting at this city’’s Plaza Mabini know that for a fact.

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[Editorials of The Connection] Jueteng’s threat to poll safety

 

 

A gruesome shootout (or was it a rubout?) that befell 13 men at a checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon last Jan. 6 greeted the new year not as a firecracker-related incident, but as a reflection of how Filipino authorities are experiencing difficulties in curbing jueteng.

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[Elections 2013] Lipa City a poll hotspot?

 

LIPA CITY—The Calabarzon region’s police chief said this city is among the election-related hotspots in Batangas that law enforcers are keeping an eye on this May.

But local police and residents here just shrug off those worries concerning alleged election-related violence here.

“There is no particular hotspot or security concern here in Lipa especially during elections,” Lipa City’s deputy chief of police Oliver Ebora told The Filipino Connection.

No political rivalry that causes election crimes here, adds Noel Correa, officer-in-charge of this city’s Commission on Elections (Comelec). Most of the rivalry here, he adds, is from the supporters of each candidate. One of the reasons for this rivalry is like the posting of tarpaulin.

There would come a time that even though the local Comelec already gave the right place to put a tarpaulin, a candidate would still put his tarpaulin on the prohibited place then another candidate would also put until words would be thrown from the supporters.

He adds that election turmoil only occurs “because we have a mentality here in the Philippines that if a candidate loses, he got cheated.”

Lipa City was no stranger in these scenarios as in the previous May 2010 polls, losing councilor candidate Atty. Francisco Librea filed a protest asking the Comelec to disqualify then candidate and now incumbent Mayor Meynardo Sabili from running for the city’s top post for alleged “lack of residency.”

Voting 9-4, the Supreme Court en banc, however nullified an early Comelec decision cancelling Sabili’s certificate of candidacy and ruled that Sabili “has been able to adduce substantial evidence to demonstrate compliance with the one-year residency requirement for local elective officials under the law.”

Librea ran but lost under the ticket of former Lipa Mayor Oscar Gozos, whom Sabili defeated in the past election by more than 6,000 votes.

As well, “there are no private armed groups being watched out for” this coming election, says Ebora, contrary to reports from the Calabarzon Philippine National Police (PNP) that some eight private armies with links to local politicians are roaming around Cavite and Batangas provinces.

Ebora added there was once reported that there was a private armed group in Brgy. Malitlit but this was cleared since there were no sufficient evidence given and no firearms were found.

So a housewife and registered voter, Nenet, the election for this year “would be okay”. But she warns that there would only be conflict “if the current (officials are) not running the city properly”.

Five candidates will be vying for the city’s mayoralty post this coming polls and these are Sabili, incumbent vice mayor Lydio Lopez, Jr., city councilor Merlo Silva, Lyn Dimaano and Roy Sanggalang.

Correa says that based on the latest Comelec hearings, Lipa City has about 147,000 registered voters in this year’s elections, more than last polls’ 139,000 voters.

He says that Comelec would strictly implement the gun ban this January 13, with the Lipa City Police, to be able to go after loose firearms, which criminals might use to disrupt the city’s peace and order situation.

“Maybe right now (Lipa City is peaceful) but as the election gets nearer, the situation might as well change,” Correa said.