The Commission on Elections (Comelec) must not treat the Liberal Party (LP) and its presidential candidate Manuel ”Mar” Roxas 2nd with kid gloves by acceding to their request for a two-week extension in filing their Statements of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE), Vice President Jejomar Binay’s camp said over the weekend.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) described Roxas and the LP’s failure to file their SOCE on the June 8 deadline as “a shameful display of arrogance and disrespect for the rule of law.”
“The people now want to see a Comelec that truly enforces the rule of law. Turning soft on Mar Roxas and the Liberal Party, and treating them with kid gloves will only highlight suspicions that the Comelec is part of some conspiracy during the May 9 elections,” UNA spokesman Ramon Ilagan said.
“We find LP’s request for a 14-day extension to complete their SOCE a shameful, disgraceful and extreme display of arrogance and total lack of respect for the law. Their disregard for the non-extendable period given by the Comelec only shows the overbearing big-headedness and sense of entitlement of Mar Roxas. His arrogance continues to pervade as if he is still in power,” Ilagan added.
He said UNA expects that the Comelec will deny the request for more time to complete the filing of the SOCE.
When sought for comment, Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez, the spokesman for the Daang Matuwid (Straight Path) coalition told The Manila Times in a text message, “A request for extension was filed with the Comelec before the deadline for the SOCE. This gave a full explanation for the reasons behind the request. Comelec’s authority and the law are both being fully respected, and we have repeatedly stated we will abide with whatever the commission decides.”
In its statement, UNA cited Comelec Resolution 9991 which, it said, affirms that the late filing of SOCE amounts to a de facto non-filing of SOCE which has the effect of forfeiture of elective posts among other penalties.
Republic Act 7166 or the Synchronized Local and National Elections and for Electoral Reforms does not authorize the poll body to extend the deadline of the filing of SOCE, according to UNA.
UNA recalled an incident last March when its standard-bearer Binay was not allowed to bring in documents during the presidential debate in Cebu City.
Roxas, accoridng to the opposition party, said that everything should be rules-based.