SOCE deadline non-extendible—COMELEC

MANILA—COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez reiterated the call for local and national candidates who have not submitted their Statements of Contributions and Expenses (SOCEs) to file them today, June 8.

Jimenez told the media that without submitting the SOCE, the winning candidates would not be able to assume their posts, according to Republic Act 7166.

Moreover, they would have to pay penalties, which are determined by their position.

Losing candidates, likewise, are still required to file their SOCE.

Jimenez also maintained that the deadline is not extendible, unlike during the 2013 senatorial polls, when COMELEC extended the deadline several times.

“I am not aware of any plan to extend office hours [on June 8] either,” Jimenez tweeted.

Section 14 of Republic Act 7166 reads: “Every candidate and treasurer of the political party shall, within thirty (30) days after the day of the election, file in duplicate with the offices of the Commission the full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election.

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.

Except candidates for elective barangay office, failure to file the statements or reports in connection with electoral contributions and expenditures are required herein shall constitute an administrative offense for which the offenders shall be liable to pay an administrative fine ranging from One thousand pesos (P1,000.00) to Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00), in the discretion of the Commission.

The fine shall be paid within thirty (30) days from receipt of notice of such failure; otherwise, it shall be enforceable by a writ of execution issued by the Commission against the properties of the offender.

It shall be the duty of every city or municipal election registrar to advise in writing, by personal delivery or registered mail, within five (5) days from the date of election all candidates residing in his jurisdiction to comply with their obligation to file their statements of contributions and expenditures.

For the commission of a second or subsequent offense under this section, the administrative fine shall be from Two thousand pesos (P2,000.00) to Sixty thousand pesos (P60,000.00), in the discretion of the Commission. In addition, the offender shall be subject to perpetual disqualification to hold public office.”—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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