MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has directed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to file its comment on the plea of the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), to nullify and revoke the extension of deadline for the filing of Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).
The high court gave the poll body 10 days to respond to the petition.
In a 23-page petition for certiorari filed last July 7 by its Secretary-General and incoming House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, PDP-Laban accused the Comelec of grave abuse of discretion and assailed Comelec Resolution No. 10147.
This resolution allowed the extension to June 30, 2016 from the original schedule of June 8, 2016, for "violating the non-extendible deadline for filing of SOCEs mandated by Section 14 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7166 (An Act Providing for Synchronized National and Local Elections and for Electoral Reforms)."
PDP-Laban said the Comelec exceeded its rule-making power and did not have any authority from Congress to amend the said law.
PDP-Laban adopted the dissenting opinion of Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert Lim, which states that the extension was an "accommodation in favor of the Liberal Party (LP)."
The LP, the political party of former President Benigno Aquino III, asked for the extension after it failed to file its SOCE on time.
The assailed resolution caused Lim to resign his post as head of the Comelec's Campaign Finance Office (CFO).
READ: Comelec defends SOCE filing extension