The Campaign Finance Office (CFO) of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) denied this Wednesday, June 15 the request of the Liberal Party (LP) and its standard bearer Mar Roxas to have a 14-day extension of the filing of their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE). This is according to CFO head Christian Robert Lim.
“The ‘final and non-extendible’ nature of the 08 June 2016 deadline has been emphasized in the second paragraph of Section 2, Rule 10 of the Omnibus Rules on Campaign Finance,” Lim said, adding that Republic Act 7166 clearly states that all political candidates should be submit their SOCEs within 30 days after the elections.
“To grant the request for extension would not only be unfair to other candidates and parties who complied within the prescribed period but also would be a reversal of the commission’s own resolution on the matter,” The Comelec memorandum reads, noting that Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was able to comply despite having health issues.
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The Comelec memo was released a day after the Liberal Party (LP) submitted its own Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE), six days after deadline of filing last Wednesday, June 8. The party reported P241.097 million in campaign expenditures for all its candidates in the recent elections, including the Roxas-Robredo tandem.
Vice President-elect Leni Robredo has submitted her SOCE last June 8, and reported P418,6 million in her nationwide campaign expenditures. She declared P423 million in total contributions. Kris Aquino donated a total of P30.8-million, making her as Robredo’s top campaign donor. As of posting, Roxas has not yet submitted his own SOCE.
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Nevertheless, LP spokesperson Barry Gutierrez called the CFO statement as “absurd.” He emphasized that Robredo should still take her oath as vice president simply because she was elected by the majority of voters, and that Comelec can just impose a penalty to LP for its late filing of SOCE. The Comelec is yet to make a final decision on this issue.