COMELEC reminds candidates on June 13 deadline for SOCE filing

BAGUIO CITY – The Commission on Elections is reminding anew candidates for the recent May 14, 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections to file their respective Statements of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE) on or before the deadline on June 13, 2018.

“All candidates, winning or losing, must submit SOCEs to COMELEC within 30 days after election day, according to Section 14 of Republic Act 7166,” COMELEC Benguet Provincial Election Supervisor Julia Elenita Tabangin-Capuyan said.

Even those who withdrew their certificates of candidacy are required to file their SOCE before the scheduled deadline, she added.

Capuyan explained that winning candidates cannot assume their elected positions until they have submitted the required SOCEs. She said that by not filing their SOCE, the winning candidates risk being perpetually disqualified to hold public office.

Section 14 of R.A. 7166 requires the filing of SOCE, and failure to do so prohibits winning candidates from entering upon the duties of their office until they have complied. Further, the commission of a second or subsequent failure to file the SOCE subjects the offender to perpetual disqualification to hold public office.

Before the barangay elections, the COMELEC thru its Campaign Finance Office published on the website on April 13, 2018 a list of candidates declared with finality by the Commission as perpetually disqualified to hold public office due to repeated failure to file their SOCE after elections.

For first-time violators of the requirement to file SOCEs face an administrative fine between P1,000 and P30,000, as set by COMELEC. This does not apply to candidates for elective barangay office, according to RA 7166.

For a second or subsequent offense, “the administrative fine shall be from two thousand pesos (P2,000.00) to sixty thousand pesos (P60,000.00), in the discretion of the Commission. In addition, the offender shall be subject to perpetual disqualification to hold public office.”

By Redjie Melvic Cawis, PIA

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