THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu Province has reiterated that candidates who will fail to file their Statement of Contribution and Expenditures (Soce) Wednesday, June 8, 2022, will have to pay a penalty or lose their seat.

Lawyer Jerome Brillantes, acting Cebu provincial elections supervisor, said about 29 local candidates have so far submitted their Soce to the Comelec Cebu Province as of 11:22 a.m. Wednesday, the deadline for submission.

Forty-eight candidates ran for elective posts in the province, including positions for governor, vice governor, board members and district representatives.

Brillantes noted that all candidates should file their Soce regardless of whether they won or lost in the May 9 elections.

He said that for the first offense, candidates may be given a penalty of at least P5,000, while this will be a ground for disqualification to run or hold public office once they violate the law twice.

“We are mandated to receive their Soce until 5 p.m. (June 8) and after such, sorry na lang wala na, except katong winning candidates,” he said.

Brillantes said winning candidates will have six months to file their Soce, but he clarified that they are also subject to pay the penalty for failure to file before or at 5 p.m. of June 8.

Asked of the six-month filing period for winning candidates, Brillantes said this is one thing he had no idea, but stressed that this privilege was mandated through a Comelec en banc resolution.

He noted that candidates under a political party has a lawful expense of P3 per registered voter, while independent candidates could spend a maximum of P5.

“Ang ilang lawful expenses, P3 times number of registered voters in the particular LGU (local government unit) where they ran,” he said, adding that Cebu Province has over 3.2 million registered voters.

Brillantes said it may also be a ground for disqualification should they exceed the allowable expenses, may it be personal or donated expenses.

Among the 29 candidates who already filed their Soce are reelected Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Vice Governor Hilario Davide III.

Former Tourism secretary Joseph Felix Mari “Ace” Durano, who challenged the governor but lost, has also filed his Soce.