Village poll bets gain reprieve on expenses
James Arthur Jimenez, Comelec spokesman, said the commission en banc decided to grasnt both winners and losers until Dec. 15 or two weeks to file their Statement of Contribution and Expenditure.
Winning candidates who fail to submit their financial report will be prohibited from assuming office while losing candidates will not be allowed to run in the future elections.
Jimenez said the candidates are required to file on or before Nov. 27 their SOCE at the Office of the Election Officer where they filed their Certificates of Candidacy.
Among the penalties for failing to file the SOCE are one-year to six-year imprisonment, loss of the right to vote, and disqualification from public office.
The SOCE serves as basis for the poll body to determine whether the candidates or parties exceeded the spending limit.
Submission of incomplete SOCEs will be considered a failure to submit and that could mean election offense charges against the candidates.
A candidate in the October 28 village polls is allowed to spend only P5 per registered voter since the Comelec does not allow political parties.
The Election Law stated that the term “contribution” includes a gift, donation, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value, or a contract, promise or agreement to contribute, whether or not legally enforceable, made for the purpose of influencing the results of the elections but shall not include services rendered without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time in behalf of a candidate or political party.