COMELEC approved the extension of SOCE till June 30
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has granted the request of the Liberal Party (LP) to extend the deadline for the submission of its Statement of Contributions and Expenditures until June 30, 2016.
After deliberating the matter last thursday afternoon, the Comelec en banc moved the deadline to June 30 despite the announcement that the June 8 deadline is “non-extendable.” Due to this, no fines will be imposed for late filers. 4 versus 3 are in favor for the said extension. Commissioners Al Parreño, Rowena Guanzon, Arthur Lim and Sheriff Abas voted for it, while Chairman Andres Bautista and commissioners Christian Robert Lim and Tito Luie Guia opposed it.
The Liberal Party (LP), which missed the “final, non-extendible” June 8 deadline, requested a 14-day extension with the Comelec (Read more here: http://bit.ly/1XYIlsK). Liberal Party was able to submit its SOCE 6 days after the initial deadline.
Jimenez said the extension will benefit five senators, 115 congressmen, and 40 governors, who otherwise will not be allowed to take office if the extension was denied.
“Are we going to defeat the sovereign will of the people just so that we can actually impose what is essentially a documentary requirement?” Jimenez asked.
“Medyo malaki ‘yung effect nito, and so the extension will benefit everyone. Not just one party in particular, but the extension will be available for everyone, all parties, all candidates,” he said.
“‘Yung ganoon karami ang hindi makakaupo dahil hindi sila nagfile ng SOCE.”
Section 14 of Republic Act 7166 – the law providing for synchronized national and local elections – states that if a political party fails to submit its SOCE, its winning candidates would not be able to assume office.
This was reiterated in Rule 10 of Comelec Resolution 9991, which also states that submissions beyond June 8 “shall not be accepted.”
If the Comelec had denied the requested extension, Vice President-elect Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo of LP would not have been allowed to assume office. Her party filed its statement late, even if she filed her own SOCE on June 8.
There are four winning senatorial candidates who ran under the Liberal Party in the 2016 polls would have the same fate as Leni Robredo. The four said candidates are Joel Villanueva, Ralph Recto, Leila de Lima, and Francis Pangilinan. All 4 senators-elect filed their SOCEs on time.
LP’s 5th senatorial bet, Senate President Franklin Drilon, and even its presidential candidate, Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, have not yet filed their SOCE.