Bets told to report expenses on campaign rallies

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2013 05:44 PM | Updated as of Feb 08 2013 01:44 AM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections is requiring candidates to submit their expenditure reports within 7 days after each rally for the duration of the official campaign period.

Section 7 of Comelec Resolution 9616 declares as an unlawful act, a party or candidate's failure to notify the election officer concerned of any public rally that a party or candidate intents to organize and hold in the city or municipality and to submit within seven (7) working days a statement of expenses incurred in connection with the said public rally. 

Failure to comply incurs a liability as an election offense which carries the maximum penalty of 12 years in prison and disqualification.

Other possible election offenses in relation to campaign finance monitoring are:

  • Holding of dances, lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing bouts, bingo, beauty contests, entertainments or cinematographic, theatrical or other performances for the purpose of raising funds for an election campaign or for the support of any candidate.
  • Giving, directly or indirectly, any donation, contribution or gift in cash or in kind, undertaking or contributing to the construction or repair of roads, bridges, school houses, puericulture centers, medical clinics and hospitals, churches or chapels, cement pavements or any structure for public use or for the use of any religious or civic organization, with certain exceptions under Section 104 of the OEC.
  • Use of public funds, money deposited in trust, equipment, facilities owned or controlled by the government for any election campaign or for any partisan political activity as enumerated and specified in Sec. 261 (o) of the OEC.

Field officers shall submit to the campaign finance unit the accomplished and duly sworn monitoring checklists, together with the Statement of Expenses on Public Rally  of the candidate or party whose event was the subject of the monitoring checklists, within ten (10) working days after the holding of the public rally or meeting.

Field officers must submit to the unit their reports on candidates and parties who failed to remove their election propaganda despite notice, together with the quantity and description of the election propaganda, within ten (10) working days after confirming that the election propaganda has not been removed within the three (3) day period given to the candidate or party to do so.

Relevant election laws impose a spending limit of P3 per voter for ever candidate with a registered party  and P5 per voter for independent candidates.

Political parties are allowed to spend P5 per voter. With over 52 million registered voters for the midterm election, spending is thus capped at a rage of P156 million to P260 million for the duration of the official campaign period for national candidates.