PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, May 24 (PNA) -– “The election fever is over, it is time for candidates, win or lose, to reveal how much they received in campaign contributions and how much they spent, if they don’t want the taxman to come knocking at their door.”
This was the declaration Thursday of acting provincial election supervisor Lawyer Dinah Sapong, as she reminded all candidates that they have until June 13, to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).
Sapong urged the candidates to honestly declare their real expenses during the entire election period otherwise they will face sanctions.
Sapong said all candidates should also properly declare the donations they received in compliance with the regulations of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The deadline is set on 5:01 p.m. of June 13, according to Comelec Resolution 9616 or the “Campaign Finance Laws” which was amended for the 2013 elections, Sapong said.
In a memorandum, the Comelec has directed all its field offices to send a written reminder within five days after the last day of balloting to all candidates, political parties and party-list organizations of their obligation to file the campaign finance disclosure statements.
Sapong said candidates’ failure to comply with the order will be sanctioned.
She said the candidate will be slapped with a fine between P4,000 and P30,000 for the first offense and the amount will be doubled from P8,000 to P60,000 for the second offense.
The candidate will be disqualified to seek an elective position in future elections for the third offense committed, she added.
She warned candidates against falsifying their SOCE “because a campaign finance monitoring team has been checking on the prices of campaign materials during the campaign period and will compare this with what’s stated on the SOCEs.”
She said that candidates, under the law can only spend P3 per voter while political parties and party- list organizations are allowed to spend P5 per voter.
She added that winning candidates who fail to submit SOCE will not be allowed to assumed his or her post based on Comelec Resolution No. 9476.
SOCE forms are available at the Comelec office or www.comelec.gov.ph website.
The accomplished SOCEs are also available for public viewing, Sapong said. (Charnyl S Albarracin/Lily O Ramos/Media Ng Bayan)