ILOILO City – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the province is reminding candidates who ran in the recent May 13 midterm elections to file their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs) before the June 13 deadline. As of Saturday, only two SOCEs have been filed at the poll body’s Iloilo office in La Paz district.
Under Republic Act 7166 (Synchronized Elections Law), all candidates and electoral parties – win or lose – are required to file their SOCEs within 30 days after the conduct of elections.
The deadline was extended one day because it falls on June 12, the Philippine Independence Day, a regular holiday.
“Duha pa lang ka bilog ang nag-file sang SOCE,” said provincial election supervisor Atty. Roberto Salazar. They are losing congressional candidate Dennis Superficial (2nd District) and losing Provincial Board member candidate Frank Pecina (3rd District).
Salazar is expecting SOCE filers to flock their office come Monday, June 10.
Winning candidates are allowed to file their SOCEs six months from the date of their proclamation.
Winning bets who fail to file their SOCEs on time are not allowed to assume office, warned Comelec in a statement.
Salazar stressed that provincial and municipal candidates in Iloilo should not wait for the last day to file their SOCEs to avoid hassle and congestion at the Comelec office.
“Nakahibalo ka naman sang mentalidad sang Pinoy – always on the last day na sila naga-file kag kapin pa kon damo nagasto mo nagapangkolekta ka pa sina sang mga documents nga inug-submit,” the poll officer said.
He added: “Ginahinyu naton nga mag-file sang mas temprano sa deadline kay siempre indi ta man gusto nga may yara kita nga indi mabaton.”
Each candidate is required to pass three hard copies and one electronic copy of the SOCE (in Excel and PDF format).
Upon filing their SOCEs, candidates are given a certificate of compliance as proof of submission.
Administrative penalties await candidates who fail to file their SOCEs on time.
* senators, party-list organizations and national political parties – P10,000
* provincial political parties – P8,500
* governors and vice governors – P8,000
* Provincial Board members, congressmen, local political parties, mayors, and vice mayors – P7,000
* city/municipal councilors – P6,000
Comelec said SOCE filing is also required of candidates who were self-funded, did not incur any expenses, did not pursue or continue the campaign, and withdrew their candidacies unless the withdrawal was done before the start of the campaign period.
“Failure to submit SOCE may result to the imposition of administrative sanctions against candidates and electoral parties,” it added.
Candidates who submitted incomplete statements and reports will also face administrative sanctions.
“An incomplete report is a report that does not contain all the required information, or does not conform to the prescribed form,” stated Comelec Resolution No. 10505.
The SOCE form can be downloaded at www.comelec.gov.ph. It is also available at Comelec offices.
A total of 18,072 positions were at stake in the May 13 polls – 12 senators, 61 party-list organizations, 245 House members, 81 governors and vice governors, 780 members of the Provincial Board, 145 city mayors and vice mayors, 1,628 city councilors, 1,489 municipal mayors and vice mayors, and 11,916 municipal councilors.
The recent poll was the fourth automated nationwide election in the country./PN