Comelec finds defects in senators’ SOCEs
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - June 20, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Many of the Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs) filed by senatorial candidates were found to be deficient, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said yesterday.

Brillantes said the June 17 memorandum submitted to the commission by the Campaign Finance Unit (CFU) showed that only Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, among the winning senators, filed a complete SOCE.

However, the CFU recommended that the issuance of Cayetano’s certificate of compliance be withheld until the Nacionalista Party completes the documents in its own SOCE.

The eight-page memorandum signed by Comelec Commissioner and CFU steering committee chairman Christian Robert Lim also showed that only losing candidates Samson Alcantara, Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Ricardo Penson were able to file complete SOCEs and within the deadline set by the poll body.

Brillantes said a candidate who filed a deficient SOCE is deemed to have not filed the document at all, and faces administrative fines.

He said those who are not able to comply with the SOCE requirements could not assume office, but the Comelec would discuss whether to give them a chance to make the necessary corrections.

The CFU memorandum also showed that senator-elect Juan Edgardo Angara’s SOCE did not include some of his contributors’ taxpayer identification number (TIN) and copies of receipts. Angara’s political party, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, has also not submitted its SOCE.

Senators-elect Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Aquilino Pimentel III, Grace Poe-Llamanzares and Cynthia Villar failed to sign their SOCEs.

Aquino originally submitted his SOCE on June 11 but re-filed it on June 17. Because of this, the CFU recommended that a fine of P4,000 for each day that his SOCE was filed late or from June 13 to June 17 be imposed on him.

The CFU recommended that a fine of P1,000 be slapped on Pimentel, Poe and Villar per day until they comply with the requirements.

Aside from not signing their SOCE, the three failed to provide either the TIN information or copies of the receipts of the contributions and expenses they incurred.

Senator-elect Nancy Binay also faces a fine of P1,000 per day until she submits copies of the receipts of her expenses during the campaign.   

The memorandum showed that while senator-elect JV Ejercito filed his SOCE via registered mail on June 13 due to heavy traffic brought by torrential rains, the copy submitted to the Comelec had no receipts issued to donors. 

A fine of P1,000 per day was also recommended against re-electionist Sen. Francis Escudero who filed his SOCE late and did not attach the copies of contributors’ receipts.

Re-electionist Senators Gregorio Honasan and Loren Legarda also did not attach the needed receipts.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s  SOCE did not contain contributors’ receipts and TIN information.

Among the political parties that fielded senatorial candidates, only Ang Kapatiran had filed a complete SOCE.   

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