AFTER the deadline for filing of Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (Soce) for candidates in the recent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2023, the Commission on Elections in Davao Region (Comelec-Davao) reiterated the legal consequences for non-compliance.
Lawyer Gay Enumerables, acting regional director of Comelec-Davao Region, in a phone interview, Thursday morning, November 30, said, “Naay mga sanctions if ever dili sila mag-comply. Dili ta ana makaboot because right after they filed their Soce, the Comelec [central office] will decide and notify them, these candidates (There are sanctions if ever they do not comply. We do not have the authority to do that because right after they filed their Soce, the Comelec [central office] will decide and notify these candidates)."
Enumerables said during an AFP-PNP press briefing on November 29 that due to the high number of BSKE candidates, they extended the deadline to accommodate them and facilitate the smooth filing of requirements.
“Daghan kaayo ang nidagan so gilugwayan pud namo ang deadline para maka-prepare gyud sila. There is no reason for them nga makalimot sa ilahang SOCE kay required man na since then (here were a lot of candidates, so we extended the deadline to enable them to prepare. There is no reason for them to forget their SOCE because it is a requirement)," she added.
The Soce filing period, which began on October 30, concluded on November 29.
Comelec spokesperson lawyer John Rex Laudiangco said in a national interview that candidates had 30 days from October 30, 2023, to submit their Soce, providing a substantial timeline to fulfill their obligation.
Comelec-Davao Region has yet to provide data on Soce filed within its jurisdiction.
Under the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, Soce is mandatory to determine the total expenses of winning and losing candidates throughout the campaign period.
Failure to submit the required statements or reports on electoral contributions and expenditures will result in penalties, and offenders cannot hold any public positions.
According to the Republic Act (RA) 7166, non-compliance is considered an administrative offense. For the first offense, offenders could face a fine ranging from P1,000 to P30,000, while a second offense would range from P2,000 to P60,000, with the offender being barred from holding public office. DEF