Jun 142013
(Updated 9:13 p.m.) None of the senatorial candidates in the recently concluded elections could be considered as an “overspender” as far as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is concerned, based on latest available data.

According to poll chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., an overspender is one who spends P156 million or more during the campaign period.

The Comelec, under Resolution No. 9476, gives candidates the following expense limit — P10 per registered voter for presidential and vice presidential candidates, P3 per voter for candidates with political parties, and P5 per voter for independent candidates.

The Comelec has yet to make a final audit report on the expense reports.

But in general, “P156 million ang maximum. 52 (million voters)  times P3 (per voter),” Brillantes noted.

Meanwhile, the maximum amount for independent candidates is P260 million.

There were over 52 million registered voters nationwide in the recent polls.

Based on available statements of contributions and expenditures of senatorial candidates filed with the Comelec, Cayagan Rep. Jack Enrile was the one who spent the largest in the May 13 elections.

Enrile, an unsuccessful candidate, spent P150,401,072.09, followed by incoming senator Cynthia Villar with P133,979,127.25, and re-elected Senator Alan Peter Cayetano with P131,044,78.

Senator-elect Nancy Binay, meanwhile, placed fourth at P128,695,057.1.

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.

Poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. 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. Marc Jayson Cayabyab/KBK, GMA News

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