MANILA -- Former senator Serge Osmeña on Monday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to junk the perpetual disqualification case filed against him.
“Premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that the Commission issue an order dismissing the petition, thereby allowing respondent to run for senator in the forthcoming elections,” he said in his answer submitted to clerk of the Commission.
Osmeña noted that he has filed his statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE) for the 2010 elections, though it was not submitted on time, making the allegation untrue.
“Having proved that the respondent was able to file his 2010 SOCE, the instant petition must be dismissed considering that there is no ‘second or subsequent offense’ of failure to file SOCE to speak of,” he said in his reply.
At the same time, the respondent in the disqualification case said he failed to file his 2016 SOCE, claiming that he submitted two letters to the poll body asking for an extension in the period to file SOCE, but he was not able to get any response.
“Clearly, the inaction of the Commission on both June 10, 2016 and June 13, 2017 letters should have benefited the respondent... should be interpreted as acceptance of the Commission of his explanation under oath and, thus, necessarily avoiding the instant petition,” the former senator said.
The Comelec has filed perpetual disqualification cases against 460 offenders, including Osmeña, for failure to file SOCEs twice.
Under the law, a second or subsequent failure to file the SOCE subjects the offender to perpetual disqualification to hold public office.
Osmeña is looking to run in the May 2019 mid-term polls. (PNA)
Photo from Senate website