Alvarez to Comelec: Bare resolution extending SOCE deadline
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) must release its resolution allowing the late submission of the Statement of Campaign Expenditures (SOCE), as requested by the ruling Liberal Party, newly-elected Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez said on Wednesday, June 22.
Alvarez, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s choice for House Speaker of the 17th Congress, said the release of the Comelec resolution is crucial to allow other parties to challenge its legality.
“Right or wrong, there seems to be a public perception that the release of the resolution is being held in abeyance until after the sought-for 14-day extension lapses so it may no longer be questioned before the SC,” Alvarez said in a statement
“If this is true, the Comelec may end up as a damaged institution as it will be a party to two very serious violations – extending the non-extendible deadline in the filing of SOCEs and depriving the people of the right to question that extension before the SC,” he added.
Alvarez reportedly said last week that the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) will question the Comelec ruling before the Supreme Court (SC).
The administration party, as well as its presidential bet Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, failed to file their SOCE on the June 8 deadline. Vice President-elect Leni Robredo submitted on time.
LP requested a 14-day extension. Comelec granted it and moved the deadline to June 30.
Under Republic Act 7166, winning candidates of parties unable to submit their SOCE will be barred from assuming their post. The failure of the LP to beat the deadline raised concerns that Robredo would not be able to assume the vice presidency.
In an en banc session, Comelec commissioners voted 4-3 in favor of the extension. Commissioners Al Parreño, Rowena Guanzon, Arthur Lim, and Sheriff Abas approved it, while Chairman Andres Bautista and commissioners Christian Robert Lim, and Tito Luie Guia opposed it.
Lim, chief of the poll body’s Campaign Finance Office (CFO) resigned from his post following the decision.
The LP coalition spokesperson, Akbayan Party-list Representative Ibarra Gutierrez III, submitted Roxas’ SOCE contained in 50 boxes carried in a truck going to Comelec.
Roxas spent a total of P487 million ($10.49 million), which, Guttierez said, is fully accounted for in his SOCE. LP reported P241,097,372.73 in campaign expenditures. – Rappler.com
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