Half of provincial candidates file SOCE; 3 in Bacolod fail to beat deadline

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Provincial Commission on Elections (Comelec) Supervisor Roberto Salazar said 50 percent of candidates running for provincial and congressional posts in Negros Occidental during the May 9, 2022 elections, beat the deadline for the filing of their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) Wednesday.

Salazar said there is no extension for the filing of SOCEs.

In Bacolod City only three candidates failed to beat the deadline.

Salazar said that as mandated by the Comelec, candidates who either won or lost in the elections, or even those who have withdrawn, are required to file their SOCEs.

The fines for failure to file SOCEs range from P2,000 to P30,000, along with disqualification from holding public office, Salazar added.

Based on Comelec data, the first to file their SOCEs at the Provincial Comelec Office were Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer and his wife Rep. Juliet Marie Ferrer on May 24, the United Negros Alliance, Anthony Javelosa, Manuel Frederick Ko, Cleo Gaudite, Rita Gatuslao, Anthony Dennis Occeño, Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, Jeffrey Tubola; Samson Mirhan, Araceli Somosa, Sixto Guanzon Jr, Antonio Barello Jr, Mercedes Alvarez, Gerardo Valmayor, Rommel Debulgado, Valentino Miguel Alonso, Alfredo Marañon III, Andrew Martin Torres and Jose Francisco Benitez.

Salazar said Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has also filed his SOCE.

Meanwhile, three out of the 48 local candidates in Bacolod City failed to file their SOCEs with Comelec Bacolod Field Office.

They are losing candidates for councilor Homer Bais and Patrick Lacson of Team Asenso, along with outgoing Councilor Archie Baribar of Grupo Progreso.

Among those who filed their SOCE are Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, Councilors Israel Salanga, Al Victor Espino and Simple Distrito, incoming councilors Celia Flor and Jason Villarosa, congressional candidates Nonong San Miguel and Dan Atayde, vice mayoralty candidate Caesar Distrito, among others.

Republic Act 7166 requires every candidate and political party to submit their respective SOCE within 30 days from the day of the election (May 9).

Under RA 7166, winning candidates who fail to submit their SOCE will be banned from assuming their posts until they file their statements.

Candidates who fail to submit their SOCE’s for the second time will be subject to perpetual disqualification to hold public office, while those who exceeded their campaign spending limits may face possible election offense charges.