• Bare poll expenses, winning bets told

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    The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reminded newly-elected local officials to submit their statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE) to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) before they are allowed to assume office.

    DILG Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento issued the order through a memorandum addressed to all newly-elected governors, mayors, vice mayors, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Panglunsod, Bayan, and Governor of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). These officials were directed to file their SOCE by June 9, 2016, and submit to the DILG a certification on SOCE compliance by June 17, 2016.

    “Alinsunod sa batas, ang mga bagong halal na mga opisyal sa mga lokal na pamahalaan ay kinakailangang mag-file ng kani-kanilang mga SOCE bago pa man sila manumpa sa kanilang tungkulin [In accordance with the law, newly-elected officials of local governments must file their SOCE before being sworn into office],” Sarmiento said.

    Under Republic Act (RA) No. 7166, otherwise known as the “Synchronized National and Local Elections and for Electoral Reforms Act,” no person elected to any public office shall enter or assume the duties of his office until he has filed the SOCE.

    The DILG and the Comelec forged a memorandum of agreement in 2012 requiring the former or any of its attached agencies to direct winning candidates to present a certification from the Comelec that he or she has satisfactorily complied with his or her obligation under Section 14 of Republic Act No. 7166 by filing his or her SOCE with the Comelec.

    “In the absence of this certification, the winning candidate cannot enter into the execution of his or her office pursuant to Paragraph 2 of the same provision of the law,” Sarmiento said.

    Winning governors, vice governors and Sangguniang Panlalawigan members are to submit their Comelec certifications to their DILG provincial directors; city mayors, city vice mayors and Sangguniang Panlunsod members to their DILG city directors; and Municipal Mayors, Municipal Vice Mayors and Sangguniang Bayan members to their DILG municipal local government operations officers.

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