(UPDATED) 3 Bukidnon mayors, 1 vice mayor among asked by Comelec to step down

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/13 December/Updated 15 December) Mayor Fruto Dandasan of Dangcagan, Bukidnon insist he filed his Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) ahead of the deadline and for proof, the log book of the local Commission on Elections will show it.

The mayor said he could not remember the date of his filing though he is willing to supply the information Monday. He added that he submitted his SOCE along with Vice Mayor Ayuban, who is the town’s former mayor.

Dandasan is one of three Bukidnon mayors included in the Comelec list they asked to step down for failure or deficiency in their report on donors and contributions. Ayuban is the fourth official from Bukidnon included in the list.

The Philippine Center of Investigative Journalism report, as quoted by MindaNews, said there are four Mindanao congressmen, 12 mayors and 11 vice mayors in the list for failure to submit on time and in prescribed forms of their Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs).

Dandasan, Gregorio Gue of Quezon, and Levi Edma Sr. of San Fernando, all in Bukidnon were among 26 mayors in the country told by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to vacate their posts for failure to submit on time and in prescribed forms reports on their donors and expenditures in the last elections.

All of the four officials belonged to the administration Bukidnon Paglaum Party in the May 2013 polls. Mayors Dandasan and Gue, however, deny the report.

Mayor Gue also said via telephone Saturday afternoon that he submitted his SOCE ahead of the deadline.

The mayor, who has served for several terms in Quezon town, said he will verify how this happened as it has been his practice to comply with the requirement on time.

Both mayors said they have not received any order regarding the matter.

Mayor Edma’s number could not be reached by Bukidnon News as of Saturday. The law requires all candidates to submit their SOCE within 30 days after the election.

The PCIJ reported that the Comelec wrote House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” R. Belmonte Jr and Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas to order the elected legislative and local
government officials to vacate their posts until they have fully complied with the law on filing of their (SOCEs).

Vicky Diano, an election officer at the Bukidnon provincial office of the Comelec said they have no copy of the order yet. Ronelo Alvarez, DILG Bukidnon provincial director said he received no such order yet from DILG higher officials as of Saturday morning. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News.Net)