MANILA -- Former Senator Sergio Osmeña III, who is seeking a comeback in the Senate, on Tuesday said he was confident the Commission on Elections would allow him to run.
The Comelec's campaign finance office is seeking to "perpetually disqualify" Osmeña from any government post for allegedly failing to meet requirements on declaring campaign expenses.
Asked if he was confident that the Comelec would allow him to run, Osmeña said: “Yes, that’s true, that’s why I feel relaxed.”
The former lawmaker said he filed his statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE) in 2010, but months after he took his oath as a senator.
Osmeña said he filed late because he mixed up some receipts from his own campaign and those of former Pres Benigno Aquino III, whose presidential bid he headed.
In 2016, he admitted, he was not able to file his SOCE because the Comelec en banc did not reply to his request to file late as it did the Liberal Party and its members.
"The Comelec finance office really had to file that case against me, but they’re willing to have the en banc decide on it. That’s all I’m asking, have the Comelec en banc decide on it," he told ANC's Headstart.
"At the Comelec level alone, they cannot say that I didn’t file. They can say that I filed late," he said.
But if the Comelec en banc decides against him, Osmeña said he would "take it as is" and would not bring the matter up to the Supreme Court because it would be "useless."
A Sept. 1 to 7 Pulse Asia poll on voter preferences for the 12 seats up for grabs in the midterm elections placed Osmeña in the 8 to 17 range.
He ranked 14th in the 2016 senatorial race, blaming "widespread" cheating for his defeat. He did not file an election protest because he said it would be difficult to gather evidence to back up his claim.