MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- Winning candidates during last month’s political derby in this city filed their individual Certificates of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs) as required by law through the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

First to do so on June 3 was Councilor-elect Gani Mercado, an independent bet who managed to squeeze a seat in the 10-member city council, Sangguniang Panlunsod, followed by reelected council member Vivencio Costillas.

Six other incumbent, reelected city councilors filed their own SOCEs Monday, June 6, namely, Atty. Jig-Jig Paler Acasio, Atty. Margarita Bantug, Effie Abiera, Zaldy Olita, Melvin Dublan, and Mikee Mercado.

Vice Mayor Maloney Samaco and Mayor Nacional Mercado, both reelected for their third and final terms of office, joined with the councilors in filing their SOCEs, according to Atty. Don Joshua Margate, city election officer, in an interview with Dahlia Orit of Radio Pilipinas.

Margate called on those who have not submitted their contributions and expenses list to the Comelec office to make it within the regulatory period until June 8, the deadline, under pain of prescribed penalties, disqualification to run in future elections, and non-assumption into office for the winners.

Only two winning councilors have yet to file their SOCEs as of this writing, Councilor-elect Atty. Con-Con Gerong and Councilor-elect Minda Rosete.

Based on Comelec guidelines in accordance with section 14 of Republic Act 7166, all candidates and treasurers of political parties are tasked to report to the poll body an itemized list of campaign contributions and donations along with the corresponding disbursements during the election period.

The election campaign period started on February 8 for national positions and March 25 for the local level, ending on June 8, also the date for the lifting of gun ban. (LDL/MMP/PIA Southern Leyte)