Comelec allows late SOCE filing

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Commission on Elections (Comelec) bent its own rules by extending the deadline for the filing of the campaign spending reports by the Liberal Party and all other political parties and candidates who ran in last month’s general elections.

The poll body, through a 4-3 vote, allowed the extension of the filing of the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) until June 30 from the previous June 8 deadline.

The commission held a marathon special session on Thursday on the letter of the Liberal Party (LP) and its standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd requesting a 14-day extension after they failed to meet the June 8 deadline.

The three dissenting votes were from Chairman Juan Andres Bautista and Commissioners Luie Tito Guia and Christian Robert Lim.


Commissioners Arthur Lim, Al Parreno, Shariff Abas and Rowena Guanzon voted to extend the filing of SOCE.

But Comelec spokesman James Jimenez clarified that Bautista modified his no-extension vote to “allow the late filing [of SOCE]but with imposition of appropriate fines and penalties.”

The Comelec ruling has also the effect of amending Republic Act (RA) 7166 or the Synchronized National and Local Elections Law, according to a recommendation earlier submitted to the en banc by Lim, chairman of the Campaign Finance Office (CFO).

In voting against the extension, Lim also cited the Omnibus Rule on Campaign Finance stating that the June deadline is “final and non-extendable.”

Guanzon said the issue was thoroughly discussed based on how the law should be interpreted, the consequences of a strict or liberal interpretation of the law and the intent of the Comelec when it issued the resolution on the filing of SOCE.

“I hope the country will have some stability now. The elections are over. We should be united as a people and pray for our country,” Guanzon said after the en banc session.

Jimenez clarified that the decision was not only limited to the LP but also covered other political parties such as the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Aksyon Demokratiko (Aksyon) and candidates who failed to submit their respective SOCE.

“We cannot avoid such frame of discussion that this is a capitulation to the pressure of one particular sector or one particular party. But what I would like to ask is for everyone to remember that this is for the benefit of everyone and that the LP is not the only one affected in this situation,” he explained.

Aside from Roxas, 15 senatorial candidates, including Senate President Franklin Drilon, 40 governors and 115 congressmen failed to file their SOCEs on time.

Jimenez said the commission has to weigh between implementation of the law and the consequences of preventing winning candidates from assuming office simply because they were not able to file their SOCE.

“Many will not be able to assume their posts because they did not file their SOCE. Problem is you will defeat essentially the sovereign will of the people because they [candidates]were voted upon. That’s what we are trying to avoid,” he added.

Jimenez pointed out that the Comelec also made the same decision in 2010 and 2013.

“The Comelec does not function in a vacuum. We have to be aware of the consequences of this decision. It will be applicable to everyone,” the official added.

Republic Act 7166 mandates candidates and political parties to submit “full, true and itemized” SOCE.

Comelec Resolution 9939 specifies that failure to submit a SOCE carries with it an administrative fine.

Under the resolution, national parties and candidates for senatorial positions will be fined P30,000 for the first offense and P60,000 for the second offense.

On the other hand, candidates for House of Representatives, city mayors and city vicemayors shall be fined P20,000 for first offense and P40,000 for the second offense, while municipal mayors, municipal vice mayors and municipal councilors shall be fined P10, 000 for first offense and P20,000 for second offense.

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19 Comments

  1. Rule of men, not rule of law. “The Commission has to weigh b/n the implementation of the LAW and the consequences of preventing winning CANDIDATES from assuming office…”

  2. Felix Servidad on

    The Supreme court should intervene on this matter, if not you can no longer have the peoples trust. Remember
    trust can be earn not given.
    Forget Comelec they cannot be trusted, they are part of the yellow cult.

  3. Wow! This is what you call “Tatak Pinoy”. One more thing; “laws are for the law breaker; rules are for the unruly and undiscipline”. Filipinos are “all of the above”.

  4. Pag overspending ang kaso, wlang lusot. Implement the law daw. kse kalaban, pero pag LP, kahit malinaw na walang extension. DEADLINE NGA DIBA? pwede kse mga gunggong kayo lalo ni c Rowena Guanzon. Kala mo may dignidad at prinsipio.

  5. these comelec members who approved the late submission also destroyed our Democratic system of government and replaced it with fraudulism. they are traitors and must face teh firing squad of impeachment!!! ito ay high crime

    for equal protection of the laws, those who were disqualified due to late submission must also be exonerated.

  6. Now its the COMELEC who is bending the rules? Its an impeachable offense, The issue of late filing of the LP SOCE must be put into a referendum for the Filipino people to decide whether it is acceptable ….. meanwhile , the LP must be disqualified

  7. ferdinand naboye on

    hey comelec you have the laws and you are the one to implement. It is very glaring that you must not bend in order to accomodate the LP. It was clearly stated there is no extension of the deadline . you are making a mockery of your own laws. It is best to abloish it.

    • Best to replace every Aquino appointee, one thing is clear when dealing with any Aquino appointee they will always do what is best for the liberal party regardless of the law.

  8. If Comelec can allow late filing of COCs they can allow late submission of SOCE?

  9. Here we go again — breaking the law! RA 7166 is supposed to regulate the conduct
    of election campaign finance in order to protect the integrity of the political process.
    Request for extension for submission of SOCE should have been done before the
    mandatory deadline. Ignorance of the law excuses no one. Some form of penalties should be imposed for violation of the any election laws. NO EXCEPTIONS!

  10. This is a typical Filipino mentality. they always find ways to avoid following the law –
    Might as well abolish everything and just hope that everything will be fine. there’s no sense of discipline and self respect. I lose respect for anyone who tries to find excuses for the sake of the common good. No wonder, corruption will never be eradicated.
    What is the purpose of enacting laws if they are not followed.

    • The Liberal party using the law against their opponents is the only purpose for laws in the Philippines. No one ever get convicted of anything they just sit in jail for 10 or 15 years waiting for a trial.

  11. P.Akialamiro on

    Who needs the resolution/rule; the Comelec and the ‘fake’ commissioners? Abolish them and you abolish “Corruption” and save millions!

  12. Questions:
    When Comelec Res. # 9991 was promulgated last Oct. 2, 2015, what were their intentions/objectives?

    What happens to those winning candidates that were booted out of their offices in those previous elections because of their non-compliance on SOCE?

    How can Comelec extend a deadline when it has already lapsed?

  13. Comelec also made the same decision in 2010 and 2013.
    ————————————————————

    In the Philippines a law is a suggestion, when the liberal party is involved.

    Comelec justifies ignoring the law by saying it benefits everyone and that the LP is not the only one affected.

    No point in having laws if the government won’t enforce them.

  14. If these winning electoral candidates cannot follow an established law that is being enforced by a Constitutional body then this opens up a legal precedent which can be used time and again to suit political vested interests!

    The Law is harsh, the Law is hard but that is the Law! This should now be read by COMELEC as “the law is harsh the law is hard but that is NOT the law!