15 of 20 congressmen filed SOCEs

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2013 07:25 PM | Updated as of Dec 19 2013 03:25 AM

MANILA - House Speaker Sonny Belmonte on Wednesday said 15 out of 20 congressmen have complied with the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) requirement to file valid Statements of Contributions and Expenses (SOCEs) for the May elections.

Belmonte said the Comelec's campaign finance unit chief Christian Robert Lim wrote him to inform the House of the compliance of 12 congressmen: Naiad Angping, Trisha Bonoan David, Rodolfo Biazon, Ronald Singson, Arthur Robes, Eileen Ermita Buhain, Nelson Collantes, Dong Mendoza, Romeo Acop, Wilfredo Mark Enverga, Nancy Catamco, and Pangalian Balindong.

In addition, Belmonte said Salvio Fortuno, Arnulfo Go, and Henry Oaminal also reported compliance.

He said he will archive the Comelec's letter while the congressmen try to move on from the controversy.

Belmonte said the Comelec's order on 20 congressmen who failed to validly file their SOCEs to temporarily vacate their posts was never effective, as stated by election lawyer Romulo Macalintal.

The others named by the Comelec are Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Rep. Tet Garcia, Rep. Victoria Sy Alvarado, Rep. Joel Roy Duavit, and Rep. Al Francis Bichara.

However, in a statement to ABS-CBN News, Arroyo's chief of staff Raul Lambino said the former president was also issued a certificate of compliance by Lim on Tuesday.

Arroyo's SOCE was found not validly filed because Lambino signed it on her behalf.

Comelec requires a candidate to sign the SOCE and use the prescribed Comelec forms.

Belmonte said he has no power to order anyone to vacate their posts.