• Officials facing ouster need to pay P30,000 penalty

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    The 422 elective officials who could be ousted for not submitting a list of campaign contributions and expenses will only be reinstated after they pay a fine of up to P30,000, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said on Friday.

    Brillantes said the Comelec order to evict the officials—coursed through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the House of Representatives—is “no big deal” because officials can get their positions back once they submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) and will pay the fine.

    Reacting to the comments of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., he said the Comelec “is only complying with the law” in carrying out the order.

    “Alam na naman nila ito, pero hindi naman sila sumusunod,” he added.

    The Comelec order, issued on Thursday, covers four governors, one vice governor, 12 provincial board members, 20 house representatives members, 26 city and municipal vice mayors, 35 city and municipal vice governors; and 324 city and municipal councilors.

    Among the more prominent officials are former President and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga, Rep. Rodolfo Biazon of Muntinlupa, Governors Vilma Santos of Batangas. Ryan Luis Singson of Ilocos Sur, ER Ejercito of Laguna and Amado Espino of Espinosa, and Mayor Tony Calixto of Pasay City.

    Brillantes said Santos and Arroyo’s SOCEs were considered “not filed” because they did not personally sign the documents.

    An aide signed for Santos, while lawyer Raul Lambino signed for Arroyo.

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