The provincial Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Wednesday reminded all candidates of the May 13 mid-term elections to file their Statements of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE) before June 13.
Jomel Ordas, COMELEC Palawan spokesperson, said all candidates should file their SOCE between May 14 to June 13.
“Ang SOCE ay dapat i-submit ng mga nanalo o natalo na kandidato basta hindi nagwithdraw [ng certificate of candidacy]. Dapat hanggang June 12 kaya lang holiday kaya ginawang June 13,” he said.
He said it is better for the candidate to file their SOCE before the deadline to avoid being penalized.
“Advice natin ay ‘wag na nila paabutin ang pagfile sa deadline kasi in case na may mga kulang pa sila ay wala na silang time para ayusin,” Ordas said.
Within 30 days after the election day, all candidates should submit their SOCE using proper notarized forms, and with supporting documents such as an official receipt.
Candidates who will fail to submit their SOCE within the specified deadline will be fined up to P60,000 or face administrative charges that can cause them to be perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
He added that every candidate must file their SOCE whether they won or lost in the recent midterm polls.
“Ang effect ng 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 said that winning candidates who will fail to file will not be able to 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 added.
In a statement, the poll body also said that winning candidates may still file their SOCEs beyond the deadline, but have to pay a penalty for late filing.
“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. (Sec. 14 or Republic Act 7166). Provided, however, the winning candidate shall submit SOCE within six months from the date of proclamation without prejudice to the payment of an administrative penalty for late filing (Sec. 13 and Sec. 16 of Comelec Resolution No. 10505),” the statement said.
“Failure to file SOCE may result in the imposition of administrative sanctions against candidates and electoral parties,” it added.
Section 14 of Republic Act 7166 imposes a fine ranging from Php 1,000 to Php 10,000.