Jun 102013
A Commission on Elections official has warned candidates who ran in the May 13 elections that they face perjury charges if they will fail to submit their statements of contributions and expenditures (SOCEs).  

At a press conference on Monday, Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said such candidates may have committed perjury since they declared in their certificates of candidacy an oath to submit their SOCEs.

“Yung balak namin, ie-endorse namin ‘yung mga hindi nagfile sa DOJ [Department of Justice],” said Lim, head of the poll body’s campaign finance unit. 

Perjury is a criminal act under the Revised Penal Code.

However, “(A)ng target namin is really not to put people in jail but to encourage them to file,” said Lim.

Republic Act 7166, which was enacted on Nov. 26, 1991, states that 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 the day of the election.

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.

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