The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will use its authority to block erring candidates, even incumbent ones, from running in the 2016 presidential polls.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said their campaign finance unit, through its new director Ferdinand Rafanan, is now examining the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) of the 33 senatorial candidates in the previous elections.
Brillantes said if the senatorial bets, both winners and losers, were found guilty of overspending during the 2010 and 2013 elections or two consecutive elections will be barred by the Commission to file their certificates of candidacy.
Ousted Laguna governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito was the first proclaimed candidate who was unseated by the Comelec for overspending in the 2013 elections.
The poll body’s en banc division had found that Ejercito spent more than P4.5 million or P3 for each of the 1,525,522 voters in Laguna.
The poll body’s First Division noted that Ejercito paid P6 million for just one advertising contract, which exceeded the poll spending cap.
The Comelec said the governor spent P23,563,365 for his entire campaign.
Meanwhile, Brillantes reminded the 33 senatorial candidates in the 2013 polls that they had until June 30 to submit corrections of their SOCEs.
On the other hand, the poll body chief denied rumors that they are investigating the SOCE of incumbent Senator JV Ejercito, cousin of the ousted Laguna governor.