The oath of office taken by the candidates of the Nationalist People's Coalition - Grupo Progreso Thursday in Bacolod City was only to formalize their proclamation, and did not violate the election law, Joselito Bayatan, legal counsel of mayor-elect Evelio Leonardia, said yesterday.
Bayatan was reacting to the statement of Cherryl Tacda, Bacolod Interior and Local Government director, that the candidates should have filed their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures first before taking their oath as provided in R.A. 7166.
The Commission on Elections has set the deadline for the submission of Statements of Contribution and Expenditures on June 8.
Bayatan said that since the Grupo Progreso candidates have already been proclaimed winners by the Comelec, the oath-taking was only to formalize their proclamation.
Perhaps, what Tacda meant was their assumption of their public elective office, he said.
But the winning candidates of Grupo Progreso did not assume office, they only formalized their proclamation. This is so, because before an elective official assumes his office, he must have first complied with the requisites in the election law, Bayatan said.
There is a big difference before an oath to formalize the proclamation and an oath for assumption of office, he said.
Bayatan said that normally, the oath for the assumption of public elective office comes after June 30, upon the expiration of the term of office of the incumbent officials.
The oath was only to give solemnity to their elective positions, he said.
Leonardia, vice mayor-elect El Cid Familiaran, congressman-elect Greg Gasataya and councilors-elect Ricardo “Cano” Tan, Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Elmer Sy, Dindo Ramos and re-elected Councilors Em Ang and Caesar Distrito took their oaths of office Thursday before Regional Trial Court Judge Anita Chua at the Business Inn, Bacolod City.
Only councilor-elect Bart Orola was not around since he was in Manila.
Meanwhile, Councilor Wilson Gamboa said he is now compiling his personal expenses and the donations he received.
Meanwhile, an executive assistant of outgoing Mayor Monico Puentevella, said they will prepare the composition of the transition team in a meeting today.
Puentevella was defeated by Leonardia in the mayoralty race during the May 9 elections.
Leonardia garnered 120,231 votes as against Puentevella who got 97,993 or a difference of 22,238 votes.*CGS
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