Sep 21, 2020

2 Palawan bets fail to submit SOCE

(File photo)

Two of the 30 candidates in the recent polls in Palawan have failed to submit their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs) by June 13, the deadline for filing set by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

Provincial COMELEC spokesperson Jomel Ordas said Saturday that the two who failed to submit their SOCEs were candidates for governor and congressman in the 2nd Legislative District.

He, however, did not name them.

“Mayroong dalawang candidates for governor and congressman for the 2nd Legislative District ang hindi nakapag-file out of 30 provincial candidates. Pero titingnan ulit natin kasi sa rules dapat sa office ng COMELEC kung saan sila nag-file ng COC (certificate of candidacy) ay doon din dapat mag-file ng SOCE [baka nag-file sila sa ibang COMELEC office pero dito sa atin wala pang natatanggap],” he said.

All candidates are required to submit their duly notarized SOCE with supporting documents such as official receipts within 30 days after the elections.

Candidates who will fail to submit their SOCE during the specified deadline will be fined up to P60,000 or face administrative charges that will lead to perpetual disqualification from holding public office, he said.

Ordas added that every candidate must file their SOCE whether they won or lost in the recent mid-term polls.

“Ang effect nang non-filing sa mga non-winning candidates ay wala ng extension at subject na sila doon sa administrative fine. Iba-iba bawat position at violation na ‘yon. Kapag twice kang may violation or hindi ka nag-file ng dalawang beses ay subject ka na for disqualification,’’ Ordas said.

He also added that winning candidates who fail to file their SOCE cannot assume office.

“Ang mga nanalo naman kapag hindi sila nag-file ay hindi sila puwedeng umupo sa kanilang position or office within six months ‘yan from the time of proclamation. Then kapag hindi pa rin sila nag-file sa loob ng six months ay ide-declare na vacant ang kanilang position,” he pointed out.

The SOCE filing deadline was extended until June 13.

“Ang SOCE ay dapat i-submit ng mga nanalo o natalo na kandidato basta hindi nag-withdraw [ng certificate of candidacy]. Dapat hanggang June 12 kaya lang holiday kaya ginawang June 13,” he said.

In a statement, the poll body also said winning candidates may still file their SOCEs beyond the deadline, but have to pay a penalty for late filing.

However, there will be no more extension for non- winning candidates.

SOCE filed beyond the deadline shall not be accepted except those who won the elections.

Until the submission of SOCE, the winning candidate shall not assume office based on Section 14 of Republic Act (RA) 7166.

According to the Act, winning candidates shall submit their SOCE within six months from the date of proclamation without prejudice to the payment of an administrative penalty for late filing based on Sections 13 and 16 of COMELEC Resolution No. 10505.

“Wala na tayong extension sa non-winning pero sa winning candidates mayroon pa as requirement sa pag-assume nila ng office,” Ordas said.

In Puerto Princesa City, COMELEC election officer Girlie Pacamarra said three candidates for councilor and one mayoralty bet failed to file their SOCE despite the extension.

Pacamarra, who did not disclose their names, said these four candidates who failed to file their SOCE may go to the COMELEC Main Office to settle their failure to comply.

“Minsan ini-extend ‘yan nila, pero Manila ang nagsasabi niyan. nsan ini-extend ‘yan nila (ng COMELEC), parang may extension, pero Manila ang nagsasabi niyan. Depende, siguro kung may nag-petition na i-extend. Puwede nga sigurong diretso na lang sila doon [sa Manila] mag-file, late filing lang ‘yon doon sa Manila na ‘yon. Hindi na tatanggap ang lokal na opisina [ng COMELEC],” said Pacamarra.

She said their office’s Campaign Finance Office (CFO) is very strict regarding the candidates’ compliance, win or lose.

Pacamarra reiterated those who will fail will face penalties or can be perpetually disqualified from seeking and holding public office.

“Mag-antay na lang sila ng ano niyan kasi Manila na talaga ang magde-desisyon ng lahat, hindi na sa amin ang [desisyon] niyan. Hanggang kahapon (June 13) lang kami tapos Manila na… okay naman [ang naging proseso ng SOCE filing],” she said Friday. (with reports from Gillian Faye Ibañez)

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