June 24, 2024

BANGUED, Abra – The Commission on Elections here reiterated an earlier advisory for candidates to submit their Statement of Contribution and Expenditures (SOCE) to avoid facing charges.

Nag-advise kami sa candidates na dapat sundin nila lahat ang rules of campaign finance, particularly submission of SOCE,” said Provincial Elections Officer Ricardo Lampac.

Even before the start of the campaign period, he said the candidates have already been reminded of the laws requiring the submission of the document.

He said the deadline for the submission is on June 8.

“We expect na mag-comply sila and then isa-submit namin sa Manila,” Lampac said.

A candidate can be meted charges or penalties for gailure to submit before the deadline.

Katunayan noong naupo ako dito noong January, meron akong na-receive na eight na kaso from the Law Department to be filed at Regional Trial Court)-Bangued,” he said. The cases involved overspending committed during the 2013 election.

He said such cases take time before the Comelec Law Department finishes reviewing it. After which, the cases will require the approval of the Comelec en banc that will issue an authority for its field office to file the appropriate charges before a trial court.

Submission of the SOCE is a requirement prescribed by the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines to determine compliance with the expenditure limit of a candidate. The Election Law also prescribes an amount that candidates are allowed to spend during the campaign. The SOCE also requires the listing of contributions from donors.

Lampac said SOCE-related cases usually take longer than usual to get resolved because the Comelec’s Law Department is undermanned, something which he hopes to be addressed soon.

Before the May 9 elections, the Comelec issued a disqualification case against a candidate for mayor in Baguio City for failure to submit a SOCE in the past elections.

Lampac said whether a candidate has lost or won, the submission of a SOCE is required. –PNA