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BAGUIO CITY – Some fifty six barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials were not allowed to assume their positions after they were found to have not submitted their sworn Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SOECE) with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan confirmed having met with officials of the poll body and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) where it was agreed upon that those who were not able to file the SOECE or those who were late in filing their SOECE will not be allowed to assume their positions where they were elected by their constituents until the Comelec shall have promulgated the resolution on the matter.
The 56 barangay and SK officials are composed of 1 punong barangay, 12 barangay kagawads, 3 SK chairpersons and 40 SK kagawads.
“We hope that our barangay and SK officials involved in the matter will understand the situation where they are in because it is the Comelec en banc that will decide on what will happen to their predicament in the future,” Domogan stressed.
Under existing election laws, rules and regulations, all winning and losing candidates are mandated to file with the poll body their sworn Statement of election Contributions and Expenditures (SOECE) within 30 days after the conduct of the synchronized barangay and SK elections.
Some of the involved barangay and SK officials were said to have submitted their SOECEs beyond the prescribed period to submit the said documents that is why they were included as among those who were not allowed to assume their positions awaiting the decision of the Comelec on the said pressing issue.
Domogan said that the fate of the 56 barangay and SK officials should serve as a lesson to individuals interested to be elected to public office for them to comply with election laws, rules and regulations so that they will be allowed to assume their office on time instead of being delayed like what happened to the ones involved in the current case.
The local chief executive administered the oath of office of the first kagawad of one of the barangays in the city who will serve as acting punong barangay while awaiting the decision of the Comelec on the fate of the punong barangay who submitted his SOECE beyond the reglamentary period.
One of the penalties imposed against those who fail to submit their SOECEs on time with the poll body is their being prevented from assuming their elected office aside from facing other election offense that will be instituted against them by the poll body.
Domogan appealed to the concerned barangay and SK officials to understand the situation where they are in and patiently await whatever the decision of the poll body regarding the issue where they have been involved with the hope that they will eventually assume office upon the approval of the Comelec of their justifications on their late submission of their SOECEs or their failure to submit the same during the prescribed period to file the said documents.
By Dexter A. See