Comelec spokesman James Jimenez disclosed that as of 1:50 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, 94.01 percent of all villages nationwide were able to proclaim the election winners. Regions III and VII were already 100 percent finished and all winners in 3,102 and 3,003 villages, respectively, already proclaimed.
“Overall, it’s almost finished. Hopefully, by 8 p.m. it’s all over,” Jimenez said.
With the proclamation process for the barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or youth council) elections almost through, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has called on all candidates to file their statements of contribution and expenditures (SOCE) not later than June 13 to avoid being disqualified from holding public office.
The non-filing of the SOCE is not technically grounds for disqualification, Jimenez pointed out, but it becomes one if a candidate has perennially disregarded this requirement if he/she wins or loses or did not participate in the elections later but had filed a certificate of candidacy (CoC).
“If a loser did not file a SOCE, it will be part of his record as not having filed a SOCE for these elections. If it becomes a habit of a candidate to disregard the requirement of SOCE, he will be disqualified later on,” he said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is currently looking for a way to enforce the SOCE by requiring barangay officials to present a certificate of compliance from the Comelec before administering their oath of office, according to Jimenez.
The Comelec Campaign Finance Office has already published a list candidates declared with finality by the commission as perpetually disqualified to hold public office for repeated failures to file their SOCE after elections on its website.
Winners on narcolist?
“We have always said that the barangay is where the public directly experiences our government. Therefore, our frontline public officials must be sterling exemplars of upright, law-abiding citizens to the public whom they pledge to serve,” Jimenez said.
Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police chief, said the winners who happen to be drug suspects could be subjected to Operation: Tokhang, the main strategy of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
“Just because they won, it does not mean that they will be excused,” he said in a news briefing on Tuesday.
Prior the elections, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) released a so-called narcolist containing the names of 207 former and incumbent village officials nationwide who are suspected of links to the drug trade.