Senatorial candidate Serge Osmeña on Sunday branded as baseless the move of the COMELEC Campaign Finance Office to disqualify him from running in the 2019 national elections.
The CFO has claimed Osmeña did not file his Statement of Campaign Expenses (SOCEs) for the 2010 and 2016 national elections. Under Republic Act No. 7166, the failure to file SOCEs for a second time is penalized by perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
“I have filed my SOCE for the 2010 national elections. It was a late filing and I paid the administrative fine for it. On that basis alone, there should have been no reason for the CFO to seek my disqualification,” Osmeña said in a press statement.
Osmeña, a known fiscalizer in the upper house, complained about the COMELEC’s handling of the issue on the SOCE for the 2016 national elections.
“I filed a request with then COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista for an extension of time to file my SOCE. He responded that my request was referred to the COMELEC En Banc. But I never heard from them on my request anymore; but there were similar requests by others that the COMELEC granted,” Osmeña said.
He noted similar requests were made by the Liberal Party’s then presidential candidate Mar Roxas and senatorial candidate Franklin Drilon and they were expressly granted time extensions by theComelec.
Osmeña said he is looking forward to threshing out the issues in the proceedings at the COMELEC and expressed confidence that the CFO move to disqualify him will fail.