Jun 142013
Senator-elect Chiz Escudero may be fined for submitting his statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE) a day after the deadline, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Friday.

“Those who are filing today, definitely late na ‘yan. So may administrative fine na ‘yun, palagay ko,” Brillantes said.

Escudero filed his SOCE Friday morning, several hours after the Thursday 5 p.m. deadline set by the Comelec.

GMA News Online tried contacting Escudero by phone for his comment, but he was not answering his phone.

Senatorial candidates, however, who submitted their SOCEs past 5 p.m. Thursday will “most likely” be spared from paying the administrative fine, Brillantes said, citing the weather condition on that day.

“I would recommend na wala munang (administrative fine)… Anyway hindi (rin) naman kami makaalis kagabi because of the rain. So okay na lang na mag-receive,” he said, citing the monsoon rains that caused flooding in parts of Metro Manila.

As of posting time, only three senatorial candidates have yet to file their SOCEs, namely Risa Hontiveros, Marwil Llasos, and Rizalito David.

Meanwhile, Brillantes clarified a GMA News Online report that Senator-elect JV Ejercito has yet to file his SOCE.

According to the poll chief, Ejercito filed his SOCE by registered mail on Thursday. He said the poll body considers the mailing date as the time of filing.

According to Republic Act 7166, every candidate and treasurer of a political party shall be required to file an itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures within 30 days after Election Day. The deadline was on June 13, 5 p.m.
Failure to submit SOCEs is penalized with an administrative fine from P2,000 to P30,000 for the first offense, and from P2,000 to P60,000 for second offense, depending on the position, according to Comelec Resolution No. 9476.
While it is not a criminal act, failure to file SOCEs can be penalized with disqualification from holding public office, the law said.

Brillantes said those who failed to submit SOCEs in two elections will be disqualified from running for public office. Meanwhile, those who failed to submit SOCEs before June 30 will not be able to assume office. — KBK, GMA News

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