CAR poll bets told to declare expenses honestly

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Cordillera region has told candidates running in this year’s midterm elections to declare their campaign expenses honestly.

Comelec regional director Jose Nick Mendros said the campaign expenses of candidates, including political parties, will be scrutinized by the Commission using the submitted Statement of Expense and Contributions.

Comelec Resolution 9615 section 5 emphasizes that a local candidate belonging to a political party may spend not exceeding P3 for every registered voter in the constituency while independent candidates are allowed only to spend no more than P5 for every registered voter in the constituency.

Mendros said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will also be interested in going over the statement of expenses of candidates.

Candidates who do not disclose all expenses or found cheating may be held liable in court if a certain party files a case against them.

Mendros added that candidates have to be transparent in their disclosure as they will go over the logbooks of media agencies to monitor the spending of politicians.

Political parties and party-list groups are to spend no more than P5 for every voter currently registered in the constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates.

In Baguio City, a candidate belonging to a political party is not to spend beyond P438,690 for the 146,230 registered voters while independent candidates are not to spend beyond P731,150.

Benguet candidates belonging to political parties are required to spend no more than P591,093 while independent candidates may spend up to P985,155.

In Abra, a candidate belonging to a political party may spend up to P466,929 while an independent candidate may spend up to P778,215 for the 155,643 voters in the province.

Candidates affiliated with political parties in the province of Apayao may spend up to P198,839 while independent candidates may spend up to P331,415 for the 66,283 voters.

Kalinga candidates, on the other hand, may spend up to P430,119 for political party-affiliated and as much as P716,865 for independent candidates for 143,373 voters; Ifugao candidates  may spend up to P324, 240 for those with political party and P540,400  for independents  for the province’s 108,080 voters; Mt. Province candidates may spend up to P324,333  for those affiliated with parties and P540,555 for independents for the province’s 108,111 voters.

Candidates who cannot comply with the expense report are liable for violating the Omnibus Election Code and may be fined from P1,000 to P30,000 or may be imprisoned for 6 months upon the discretion of Comelec.
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