A VERA Files “report” falsely flagged as “false” the 2016 Get Real Post article “Leni Robredo disqualified from the VP post due to LP non-compliance to COMELEC policy!”.
The GRP article, pointed out how, in the 2016 elections “Robredo’s running mate and Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas as well as the Liberal Party itself failed to meet the deadline imposed by the Commission on Election (COMELEC) on the submission of the [Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs)].” Cited was Section 14 of Republic Act 7166 in effect at the time which stipulates the “Effect of Failure to File Statement”; to wit, “no person elected to any public offices shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has filed the statement of contributions and expenditures herein required.” Most notably…
The same prohibition shall apply if the political party which nominated the winning candidate fails to file the statement required herein within the period prescribed by this Act.
At the time the article was published on the 10th June 2016, the 8th June deadline imposed by the COMELEC to file the SOCE had just lapsed and, as such, it was safe to assert that Robredo was effectively disqualified from taking her position as presumptive “vice president”.
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VERA Files asserts that GRP makes a “false claim” because “the Liberal Party in 2016 appealed to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend for another 14 days the deadline for filing of statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE) for that year’s polls” and that “the LP was able to submit its SOCE for the elections several days before the extended deadline set by the election body. No disqualification took place and Robredo was sworn into office as the country’s 14th vice president on June 30, 2016.”
However, VERA Files dishonestly omits an important detail. Section 2 of Rule 10 issued by the COMELEC applicable for these 2016 elections states that there is absolutely no provision to allow an extension of the 8th of June deadline for filing the SOCE for any reason whatsoever…
The 08 June 2016 deadline shall be final and non-extendible. Submissions beyond this period shall not be accepted. COMELEC Resolutions Nos. 9849 and 9873, Minute Resolutions Nos. 13-0775 and 13-0823 are hereby repealed, insofar as they allowed the belated submission, amendmentand/or correction of campaign finance disclosure statements and reports and the imposition of late penalties for the 2013 National and Local Elections.
Taking the above into account, GRP at the time it published the article “Leni Robredo disqualified from the VP post due to LP non-compliance to COMELEC policy!” on the 10th June of 2016 made an accurate appraisal of the dire situation Robredo and the LP found themselves in at the time — that she and the rest of LP’s lineup of “winning” candidates in those elections faced outright disqualification for non-compliance to a non-negotiable COMELEC election rule applicable at the time.
In actual fact, it is VERA Files that makes a false claim in this instance. It is also worth noting that the head of VERA Files, Ellen Tordesillas, is a known supporter of the Liberal Party and rabidly loyal to one of its top attack dogs, former “senator” Antonio Trillanes. Therein lies the whole reason the idea of “certified fact checkers” is problematic. Conflicts of interest abound and raise an age-old question: Who fact checks the fact checkers?
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.