By Marjorie Ann G. Nangit
The office of the COMELEC in Palawan warned the candidates for the May 8 recall elections about disregarding the submission of list of expenditures which are expected at the local office a day after the elections, even if they already withdrew their candidacies.
In an interview with Jomel Ordas, spokesperson of the COMELEC in Palawan, he told Palawan News that even if it is the local residents’ rights run as Mayor of this city, it is pretty obvious that they are just mocking what is supposedly a sacred privilege.
It is stated in the COMELEC Resolution No. 9558 that any mayoral candidate who fails to submit the lists required like that of the list of expenditures will be fined up to P20,000.00. They may also be imprisoned from 1 to 6 years in jail and removed of their right to suffrage.
“Obligado na sila na mag-sumite ng list of expenditures dahil nong nag-file sila ng candidacy, na-declare na sila as official candidate. Baka rin kasi pagkatapos palang nila mag-file ay nangampanya na agad sila at gumastos. (They are obliged to submit a list of expenditures because when they filed for candidacy, they were immediately declared as official candidates. They may have campaigned immediately and incurred expenses thereafter),” Ani Ordas.
The candidates may also be charged of perjury if proven to have lied. According to the COMELEC, some candidates are not even registered voters.
Ignorance is also not an excuse as they have personally filed their candidacies.
Even if they withdrew their candidacy, they still committed a crime. It’s just their candidacy that they withdrew and not their sworn statement, Ordas added.
Meanwhile, immedieately after the elections, on May 9, their office will start receiving the list of expenditures from the candidates. The acceptance will last for a month, or until June 8, 2015.