MANILA, Philippines - All candidates winners as well as losers in the Oct. 28 barangay polls have until Nov. 27 to file their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) or face election offense charges, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) warned yesterday.
In an interview, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez cautioned candidates that just like in the May 13 elections, the poll body would be strict in implementing the campaign finance rules among candidates in the barangay polls.
“We have to be strict or we may be accused of giving special treatment to barangay (candidates)... By Nov. 27, they should have already filed their SOCEs, that is the deadline,” Jimenez said.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, all candidates and the treasurers of their political parties are required to file “full, true and itemized” SOCEs within 30 days after the elections.
Failure to do so is an election offense that is punishable with up to six years imprisonment, disqualification from holding public office, and suspension of the right to vote.
Jimenez said that candidates should ensure that their SOCEs are completely filled out and with receipts and other necessary documents attached or “it shall be treated as not having been filed.”
“It is very important that the SOCEs are complete, accurate and correct because we will be auditing them. The amount of contribution, full name of contributors, the amount of expenditures, the full name and exact address of the person to whom the payment was made must be declared,” he added.