By: Elena Grace Flores
As ruled last October 2, 2015 Comelec Resolution No. 9991, by the Commission on Elections chairman Andres Bautista with Section 2, Rule 10 reads as follows: “The 08 June 2016 deadline shall be final and non-extendible. Submissions beyond this period shall not be accepted.
COMELEC Resolutions Nos. 9849 and 9873, Minute Resolutions Nos. 13-0775 and 13-0823 are hereby repealed, insofar as they allowed the belated submission, amendment and/or correction of campaign finance disclosure statements and reports and the imposition of late penalties for the 2013 National and Local Elections.
Failure to meet the deadline has some serious consequences like to be charged criminally for the violation and be barred from public office. To be exact, the penalty for non-filing of the SOCE is that all of the Liberal Party’s winning candidates – including the Vice President-elect Leni Robredo will be barred from assuming office.
Robredo’s lawyer Romulo Macalintal’s bias explaination that it will not affect Leni Robredo because she has complied with the SOCE submission will not work if Comelec stands by its own ruling. Macalintal seems to be undermining Section 5, Rule 10 of the Comelec’s Resolution NO. 9991 saying; “Effect of Failure to File Statement – Persons elected to any public office shall not enter upon the duties of their office until they have filed their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures with the relevant Schedules and supporting documents, in accordance with the formal requirements set by these Rules. The same prohibition shall apply if the party which nominated the winning candidate had failed to file its Statement of Contributions and Expenditures as required herein within thirty days from the conduct of election”.