BIR starts examining politico poll expenses

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BY SHIELA T. MAÑALAC

BAGUIO CITY: After the May 13 mid-term elections, the Baguio revenue district office began its strict examination of different reports of campaign expenses of 41 politicians who recently ran for elective positions in the city.

Fely Simon, revenue district officer, said that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has enough resources to detect inaccurate reports.

A Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution calls for each local candidate belonging to major political parties to spend three pesos for every voter. An independent candidate not belonging in any political party is only allowed to spend a maximum of five pesos for every voter.

Simon shared that a BIR team of examiners is currently in the process of verifying and authenticating the receipts and supporting documents submitted to them together with the expenses reports. According to her, there are different means to check these documents, so “politicians cannot be allowed to cheat in their reports. Any misdeclaration would force our office to enforce the due sanctions.”

The chartered city of Baguio had 41 candidates for the posts, with only one voted as congressman, one city mayor, one vice mayor and 12 councilors.

Simon shared how in the 2010 elections, one candidate was duly sanctions after not declaring true details of campaign expenses.

Comelec emphasized that over-spending in particular should not be violated in relation to the policy of the present administration, known as the “Tuwid Na Daan” (Straight Path), which is President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s way to combat corruption in the country.

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