MANILA, Dec 12 (Mabuhay) – The Commission on Elections is ordering several elected officials including former President and now Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejército and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos Recto to vacate their posts after failing to fully comply with the law to submit their statements of election contributions and expenditures (SOCE).
In a press conference, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the elected officials failed to comply with the law by either 1) failing to submit a SOCE 2) failing to sign the submitted SOCE or 3) submitting a signed SOCE that was not in the proper form.
“Our communication is they have to vacate their positions in the meantime that they have not complied with the submission,” he told reporters.
Brillantes said he is asking the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to help implement the law. He said those who file their SOCEs now will be imposed administrative fines but will be allowed to reassume their posts after complying with the SOCE submission.
Among those covered by the order are Arroyo, Ejercito, Recto, Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr., Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Luis Singson, Ilocos Sur 1st District Rep. Ronald Singson and Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto.
The Comelec First Division earlier disqualified Ejercito for overspending in the 2013 elections. Ejercito has filed a motion for reconsideration over the poll body’s ruling.
In all, a total of 422 elected officials are covered by the Comelec order to vacate their posts. The list includes 4 governors, 1 vice-governor, 12 Sangguniang Panlalawigan, 3 mayors, 20 congressmen, 9 city vice-mayors, 47 Sangguniang Panglunsod, 23 municipal mayors, 26 municipal vice-mayors and 277 Sangguniang Bayan.
Brillantes said all winning senators in the May 2013 elections fully complied with the law on submission of SOCEs. (MNS)