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Comelec stands firm on June 8 deadline of candidates’ statement of contribution, expenditures

Kaycee Valmonte - Philstar.com
Comelec stands firm on June 8 deadline of candidatesâ statement of contribution, expenditures
This file photo shows the Commission on Elections headquarters in Manila.
Philstar.com / AJ Bolando, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections once again reminds election candidates to file their statement of contribution and expenditures (SOCE) covering their expenses from the recently concluded campaign period.

Candidates and political parties are required to submit a "full, true and itemized" SOCE. Elected officials are not allowed to start official duties until this report is filed. 

“Sa kasalukuyan… hindi kami mag-e-extend beyond June 8,” Comelec Commissioner George Garcia told ABS-CBN’s “TeleRadyo Balita” on Sunday.

(As of now… we are not extending beyond June 8.)

Garcia said those who will not comply may face a case issued by the poll body or they may be subjected to a fine. 

He emphasized that the Comelec wants to know how much candidates spent in the last polls, where their funding came from, how much they received from donations, if there’s an excess from their campaign funds, and if their suppliers paid their taxes. 

The poll body also wants to ensure that candidates spend within the allowable expenses.

However, Garcia clarified that candidates who withdrew from the elections right before the 90-day campaign period for national candidates or the 45-day period for local candidates are not required to submit a statement of expenses, saying they are not yet considered candidates.

“Candidate lamang sila sa simula ng kampanya, sa simula ng unang araw ng campaign period and therefore, no need to file SOCE para sa kanila,” Garcia said.

(They are only considered candidates at the start of the campaign period and therefore, no need for them to file a SOCE.)

No reports from national candidates yet

With the deadline just 10 days away, Garcia said they have not yet received submission from national candidates.

“Siguro sa mga local candidates meron nang mga nagfa-file sapagkat ifa-file nila iyan sa local Comelec namin. Pero dito sa main office lalo na patungkol sa national position, sa mga political parties at party-lists, wala pang nagfa-file sa kasalukuyan,” Garcia said.

(Maybe some local candidates have already filed their SOCE because they will submit those to our local Comelec offices. But here at the main office, those who ran for a national position, political parties, and party-lists have yet to file their SOCE.)

Over 500 disqualified

Candidates who have failed to submit a SOCE for two consecutive election periods may be perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

This applies even for those who are currently serving the public — once the Comelec reaches a decision to disqualify them, they will be removed from office.

Garcia said that there are over 500 candidates from the recently concluded elections who are facing perpetual disqualification for not filing their SOCE after two consecutive polls.

“Therefore, nangangahulugan na hindi sila pwedeng ma-appoint o ma-elect manlang sa kanilang position,” he said.

(Therefore, they are not allowed to be appointed or elected to their positions.)

2022 NATIONAL ELECTIONS

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