No decision yet on LP's SOCE extension request

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2016 04:07 PM

MANILA – The Commission on Elections has yet to decide whether or not to approve the request of the Liberal Party to extend the deadline for the filing of Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).

The LP has requested for a 14-day extension after the party and its standard bearer Mar Roxas failed to submit their SOCEs before the deadline on June 8.

Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia said the matter is still pending with the poll body. He maintained the Comelec full bench will follow the law.

"Ang issue lang naman sa amin, may deadline. Deadline is imposed by law, carried over sa resolution. Iyung impact nun hindi naman kami ang gumawa, kundi Congress ang gumawa ng batas," Guia said. "We cannot not follow the law. Pag-uusapan kung ano ang epekto. May deadline na na-set. All submissions shall be filed before the deadline."

According to Section 14 of Republic Act 7166, "No person elected to any public offices shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has filed the statement of contributions and expenditures herein required. The same prohibition shall apply if the political party which nominated the winning candidate fails to file the statement required herein within the period prescribed by this Act."

The Comelec earlier said that there will be no extension of the deadline for filing. It is not clear, however, if the law allows for the acceptance of late submissions of SOCE for winning bets and political parties with winning candidates for them to sit in office.

Chairman Andres Bautista and Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, meanwhile, declined to comment, saying that the en banc would still have to wait for the comment from Campaign Finance Office chief Commissioner Christian Robert Lim to decide on the issue.