Winning candidates cannot assume office without submitting SOCE—Comelec

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 24, 2019   •   1513

The proclamation of winning senators in the 2019 midterm elections

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) warned winning candidates
on Friday (May 24) that they cannot assume office without submitting their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) on or before June 13.

“Under the law, all candidates and political parties are required to submit their SOCE within 30 days after the elections. However, considering that the last day of filing of SOCE is June 12 which is a holiday, the Philippine Independence Day, SOCE can still be submitted the following day, the 13th of June, 2019,” Jimenez said.

Based on the Omnibus Election Code provision, “no person elected to any public office should enter upon the duties of his or her office until he/she has filed the SOCE herein required to be submitted to Comelec within 30 days since the election day.”

This also applies to candidates who were not able to secure a seat in government office.  

Candidates who fail to submit their SOCE will face administrative sanctions.

“The submission of the SOCE by mail, courier or any other messenger services will not be accepted, while failure to file the SOCE will result in administrative sanction against the candidates and political parties,” Jimenez said.

Comelec 1st division cancels Cardema’s nomination as Duterte Youth party rep

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2019

Ronald Cardema

MANILA, Philippines – The first division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday ordered the cancellation of the nomination of former National Youth Commission (NYC) Ronald Cardema as a representative of the Duterte Youth Party-list in the 18th Congress.

Comelec spokesperson, director James Jimenez announced the decision on his Twitter account.

“The nomination of Respondent, Ronald Gian Carlo L. Cardema, as the first nominee of Duterte Youth party-list is hereby cancelled,” read the dispositive portion of the poll body’s first division resolution obtained by UNTV News and Rescue.

Two of the three-member division, Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Marlon Caquejo, voted in favor of the petition while Commissioner Al Parreño was on official business.

In a 25-page resolution, the Comelec 1st division said that Cardema committed material misrepresentation on his age when he filed his nomination bid.

The division said Cardema was not eligible to be nominated as Duterte Youth party representative contrary to the declaration he made in his Certificate of Acceptance of Nomination.

He was also aware that he is already 34 years old, and thus “committed a falsity when he misrepresented that he eligible for nomination” despite not possessing the age qualification provided by law for representatives of the youth sector.

Section 9 of Republic Act 7941 or the Partylist Law provides that a nominee of a youth party-list group must be between 25 to 30 years old.

“In view thereof, this Commission finds respondent to have committed material misrepresentation on his qualifications,” the resolution read.

During hearings, the camp of Cardema claimed that Duterte Youth is a multi-sectoral party representing not only the youth sector but also the young professionals and this, he is eligible to be nominated despite his already being 34 years old.

But taking the petition as a whole, the division said, it can be observed that the party intended to limit its representation of professionals only insofar as “young professionals” are concerned. The division noted that Cardema himself admitted to this effect in the pleadings he filed.

“While it may be true that Duterte Youth Party-list represents both the young and young professionals, it is important to consider that the professionals being represented by the party are the “young ones,” who would necessarily belong to the youth sector,” the resolution stated.

“With this in mind, this Commission finds no reason why the age qualification provided by law for nominees of the youth sector should not be applied to the respondent,” the resolution added.

Election Lawyer Emil Marañon, counsel for petitioners against Cardema’s nomination, welcomed the Comelec division’s decision.

“We are happy to announce that with the vote of 2-0, the Comelec First Division has granted our Petition seeking the cancellation of the nomination of Gian Carlo Cardema as the First Nominee of the Duterte Youth Party-List,” Marañon said on a Twitter post.

“Hopefully, this decision will be the first step towards the reform of the party-list system, that is to bring it back to the truly marginalized and underrepresented sectors,” he said in a separate statement.

Voter registration pushes through despite proposal to postpone Brgy & SK Polls

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 2, 2019

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has pushed through with the voters registration despite the proposed postponement of the Barangay and SK elections next year.

According to Comelec Spokesman Dir. James Jimenez, it is better to be prepared in case Congress decides not to postpone the Barangay and SK polls.

Jimenez also said voters can still register even on Saturdays and holidays. The voter registration will run until September 30.

“The commission will open the registration process on Saturdays and even holidays to allow more applicants to be accommodated, especially students and working people who may not have time during weekdays,” Jimenez said.

An estimated two million voters will file their registration in the country.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Comelec to hold special polls for S. Leyte, S. Cotabato reps

Marje Pelayo   •   July 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set the dates for the special polls for representatives of the first and second districts of Southern Leyte and the first and third districts of South Cotabato.

Pursuant to Resolution No. 10551, the Comelec will hold the first regular elections on October 26, 2019.

In line with this, the poll body is requiring political parties or coalitions to submit a new list of authorized signatories before the Comelec Law Department not later than August 15, 2019.

For candidate’s name to be included in the official ballot, filing the request for correction will be until September 11, 2019.

Meanwhile, the substitution of candidates may be accomplished until September 18, 2019.

The holding of elections for district representatives of these provinces was suspended to a date later than May 13 due to operational and logistical constraints, according to Comelec.

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