By Leslie Ann Aquino
The number of candidates facing perpetual disqualification cases for failing to submit their Statement of Contribution and Expenditures twice has now reached 460, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said.
Based on the records of Comelec’s Campaign Finance Office, more than half of these individuals are from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Among those included in the list of 2016 subsequent offenders is former senator Serge Osmeña who recently filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator in the May 2019 midterm polls.
Another senatorial aspirant Hussein Ibrahim Albani is also on the list.
Osmeña and Albani were found to have failed to file their SOCEs in the 2010 and 2016 polls, wherein they also ran for senator.
For local candidates or those who ran for Member, House of Representatives; Governor; Vice Governor; Provincial Board Member; Mayor; Vice Mayor; Councilor; ARMM Governor; ARMM Vice Governor and ARMM Assemblymen.
Of them, 11 came from National Capital Region, 17 from the Cordillera Administrative Region, 7 from Region 1, 11 from Region II, 10 from Region III, 20 from Region IVA, 8 from Region IVB, 22 from Region V, 18 from Region VI, 4 from Region VII, 14 from Region VIII, 10 from Region IX, 30 from Region X, 5 from Region XI, 14 from Region XII, 3 from Region XIII and 254 from ARMM.
The report covered the 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016 polls.
Section 14 of Republic Act 7166 requires the filing of SOCE, and failure to do so prohibits winning candidates from entering upon the duties of their office until they have complied.
The commission of a second or subsequent failure to file the SOCE subjects the offender to perpetual disqualification to hold public office.