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Error-prone news item on SOCE sparks “lively” debate between La Salle prof and an ABS-CBN News editor

An intense debate between a pundit and the news editor of ABS-CBN started with the civil request to edit the error-prone news article on SOCE.

The pundit happened to be Dr. Antonio Contreras, a professor of De La Salle University who spotted a harmless-looking error in the wordings of the news article penned by ABS-CBN news reporter Pia Gutierrez.

The contentious wordings can easily escape the eyes of an ordinary reader, but to the trained eye, a simple mistake could make or break the ascension of VP-elect Leni Robredo to the hotly-contested VP office.

In the news article, Ms. Gutierrez wrote the line below and quote:

According to Republic Act 7166 and Section 5 of Comelec Resolution 9991, winning candidates elected to any public office nominated by parties shall not enter upon the duties of their office until the party has filed its own Statements of Contributions and Expenditures.

Dr. Contreras called it a “classic case of wrong reporting!”

According to Dr. Contreras, there is no statement in RA 7166 to this effect. This is what is written in the law, he said:

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.”

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.

Dr. Contreras made the assertion that how the paragraph was worded in the news article of ABS-CBN relative to SOCE applies to individual candidates, but not to political parties, which makes it “misleading.”

SO WHAT ABS-CBN REFERRED TO IS THAT WHICH APPLIES TO INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES BUT NOT TO POLITICAL PARTIES.

An hour after Dr. Contreras wrote his Facebook post, the News Editor from ABS-CBN Integrated News made a rebuttal to the post, defending the ABS-CBN news writer.

Inday Espina-Varona huh? sorry, Tonton — “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.” — parties don’t get elected. individuals do. those two paras taken together indicates candidates can’t hold office if a) if they don’t file or b) if their political party fails to file (even if the candidate has); c) or both … lemme ask the lawyers

Inday Espina-Varona: and here i thought it was just the time frame being debated.

Antonio P. Contreras: Here is my take on that:

NO “LIBERAL” INTERPRETATION OF RA 7166 COULD SAVE THE LIBERAL PARTY

Let us practice some logical analysis here;

Paragraph No. 2 of Section 14 of RA 7166 reads:

“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.”

Now, a liberal reading of the provision implies that any candidate can file a SOCE anytime beyond the 30 days prescribed by law, and can only be fined and would be prevented from entering upon the duties of his office until he files the SOCE.

Okay. Fine. Let us grant this liberal interpretation without necessarily agreeing to it.

But let us now take paragraph No. 3 of Section 14 of the same law that applies to political parties, which reads:

“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.”

So, what is that prohibition which is being referred to? IT IS THE PROHIBITION OF NOT BEING ABLE TO ENTER UPON THE DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE.

Now, please note that the law is very specific –the prohibition applies if the political party fails to file the SOCE within the 30 days prescribed by the law. Take note that there is no mention of any clause that candidates nominated by a party can assume their posts when the party eventually files the SOCE even if such is late. There is no statement to the effect that “no person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until the political party which nominated him has filed the SOCE herein required.”

You see, the escape clause of “unti he has filed the statement of contributions and expenditures herein required” only applies to individual candidates, and not to political parties.

But wait. A smart lawyer can point out that the prohibition, when liberally construed, is not the fact that one is prohibited from assuming a post, but is in fact the act of not being allowed to enter upon the duties of his office until he files his SOCE.

But then again, take note of the illogical application of the prohibition for parties, if such is the case, for the question of agency would be problematic. The statement speaks only of the candidate filing the SOCE, albeit late, and not the political party.

Besides, if we allow this interpretation, it will effectively render the third paragraph of Section 14 of RA 7166 useless, for all it takes is for an individual candidate of a party to file his own SOCE, since that would cure the defect of the party not filing a SOCE. Ridiculous, isn’t it? If this is the case, why even have a provision for parties?

So, the way i see it, no matter how you twist the words of the law, there is no other liberal interpretation that can at the same time be logical and remain faithful to the intent of RA 7166, that can save the LP from the consequence of its failure to file the party’s SOCE within the period prescribed.

Inday Espina-Varona: i think i posted something from james jimenez himself… lemme find that again

Inday Espina-Varona: Oh… if you’re talking about the time frame… that’s being debated….

Inday Espina-Varona: your intro post doesn’t make that clear…

Antonio P. Contreras: Pia Gutierrez made it appear that the word “until” applies to political parties. It does not.

Inday Espina-Varona: pia isn’t even interpreting. the comelec said it hasn’t decided whether to accept or not. i think she made that clear?

Inday Espina-Varona: sorry, i just don’t get your point. i see nothing wrong. what’s being debated is the when of it ….

Antonio P. Contreras: Nope. I quotted her statement. It is wrong. Compare what I quoted she said and what is said in the law. She transposed the word ‘political party” into the paragraph that applies only for candidates. That is not correct. That is misleading.

Inday Espina-Varona: and as pia reports… the comelec will decide

Inday Espina-Varona: we’ll agree to disagree there.

Antonio P. Contreras: This is what she wrote:

‘According to Republic Act 7166 and Section 5 of Comelec Resolution 9991, winning candidates elected to any public office nominated by parties shall not enter upon the duties of their office until the party has filed its own Statements of Contributions and Expenditures.”

Inday Espina-Varona because tinaas nya nga ang sabi ng comelec: The acceptance of the SOCEs was ministerial. This means that the CFO took in the documents without evaluating its merits. This is because the Comelec’s full bench has yet to decide whether or not to grant the request of the Liberal Party to extend the deadline for submission to 14 more days.
The poll body has earlier maintained that there will be no extension of the deadline.

Antonio P. Contreras: Di mo ako magets. Anyway she misquoted.

Inday Espina-Varona: i know what she wrote. read it. read what your wrote.

Antonio P. Contreras: The law is worded in such a way that the provision that applies for parties does not contain the word ‘until”

Antonio P. Contreras: Agree to disagree. Thats fine. I may not be a lawyer but I already spent the last days applying my forensic skills divining on the law.

Inday Espina-Varona: okie

Antonio P. Contreras: This is what the law said:

“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.”

Antonio P. Contreras: Take note that what is referred to here is the candidate and not the party. Pia has simply applied the same logic to a party when in fact it is not what the law said.

Antonio P. Contreras: This is what the law said on parties:

“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.”

Please note that there is no mention of “until the party files the SOCE” which was what Pia insinuated in what she wrote.

Please check out the original article here.

Source: Dr. Antonio Contreras

The post Error-prone news item on SOCE sparks “lively” debate between La Salle prof and an ABS-CBN News editor appeared first on Pinoy Trending News.


Source: Pinoy Trending News
Error-prone news item on SOCE sparks “lively” debate between La Salle prof and an ABS-CBN News editor

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