Jun 202013

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will slap fines on 11 of the 12 senators-elect who failed to comply with the requirements regarding the filing of their statements of contributions and expenditures (SOCE).

In Minute Resolution No. 13-0775, the poll body en banc approved the memorandum of commissioner Christian Robert Lim that specified the violations of each senatorial bet in the 2013 elections, and the subsequent penalties.

Lim is the poll body’s campaign finance unit head.

Strict implementation, steep fines

Among the 12 senators-elect, only Alan Peter Cayetano has no deficiency in his expenditure report.

Poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. urged the candidates to submit their deficiencies before June 30, the start of the term for the new senators.

“We will be very strict in its implementation. Kailangang i-comply nila on or before June 29,” he said.

According to Lim’s memorandum, the penalties shall amount to “P1,000 per day (not exceeding June 29, 2013) until they have corrected the deficiency in their submissions.”

Brillantes said they would implement their memorandum of agreement with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which prohibits local officials from assuming office without submitting their expense reports. 

Up to Senate or House to bar non-compliants

Meanwhile, Comelec will submit a list of complying and non-complying candidates to the Offices of the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and DILG Secretary. 

But Brillantes admitted they have no power to compel the Senate or the House to bar non-compliant officials from taking their posts.

“Hindi namin sasabihin (na huwag paupuin). Sasabihin lang namin na the law provides (the requirement). It’s really up to them whether to implement it,” he said. 

He added that a P1,000 per day late penalty is ‘very reasonable.’ 

“If they don’t file it before June 30, then the fine is P30,000,” Brillantes said.

Republic Act 7166 provides that failure to submit SOCEs is penalized with an administrative fine ranging from P1,000 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.

Brillantes said those who failed to submit SOCEs in two elections will be disqualified from running for public office. VC, GMA News

Jun 172013
Enrile, Villar fail to sign expense reports; filing may be invalid, Brillantes says

Senators-elect Bam Aquino and Cynthia Villar of the Liberal Party coalition, and defeated bet Jack Enrile of the United Nationalist Alliance, may be the early birds in filing their expenditure reports, but their submission may be considered invalid for failing to personally sign their reports.  According to their statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCEs) available at the Commission on Elections Law Department, Enrile’s SOCE was signed by a certain Juan Ramon Garcia, while Villar’s SOCE was signed by her attorney-in-fact Jane C. Ynte.  Coincidentally, Enrile and Villar are also the top two spenders based on available expenditure reports. Enrile spent P150,401,072.09 for the recently concluded elections, followed by Villar with P133,979,127.25.  Aquino’s treasurer also signed his SOCE, according to the poll body’s law department. However, Aquino just submitted a supplemental expenditure report on Monday, this time with his own signature. Aquino spent P124,327,987.81 for his campaign kitty. Defeated senatorial bet and Jesus is Lord founder Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas also failed to affix his signature in his expense report. It was signed by his attorney Jacky Silva. Villanueva filed his SOCE beyond the 5 p.m. deadline on Thursday, June 13. Signature required Poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. said he had received reports that some senatorial candidates did not affix their signatures on their SOCEs as required by a Comelec resolution.  “Mayroon mga nag-file raw na hindi nakapirma ang mga candidates. It is a requirement that it should be signed by the candidate,” Brillantes said.  He added that failure to Read More …

Jun 102013
Comelec exec: Non-filers of expenditures report may be face perjury raps

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. The Comelec had earlier wanted failure to submit SOCEs a criminal offense. — Marc Jayson Cayabyab/RSJ, GMA News

Feb 182013
Comelec taps Boy Bawal to go after campaign violators

To effectively reach out to the public, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has tapped “Boy Bawal” to inform both the electorate and the candidates the prohibited acts and materials during the campaign period and on Election Day. The two-minute video started with Boy Bawal, with this supporters carrying flaglets, reminding the candidates to follow the election rules or be reprimanded by him. Boy Bawal then showed the campaign DON’T’s such as oversized posters; campaign materials posted in public vehicles, trees and public structures; and vote-buying, among others. Other prohibited acts are listed on www.mycomelec.tv.    At the end of the video, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. urged the public: “Umpisa na ang kampanya, kapag may nakita kayong mga bawal, pakisumbong niyo sa amin dito sa Comelec.” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said they decided to use a regular person as Boy Bawal “to make the advertisement more relatable, more entertaining and therefore more likely to be remembered and shared.” “Virality of the material was a major consideration,” he said in a text message to GMA News Online. The video was produced in-house by the Comelec’s Education and Information Department, which is under Jimenez. The poll body sent a request to all networks for the airing of the ‘Boy Bawal Ad’ as part of the Comelec space and time for the May 13 polls to be utilized exclusively for public information dissemination on election related-concerns as stated in Section 13 of Comelec Resolution No. 9615. The video can also be viewed on Comelec’s Read More …