Roxas, Liberal Party seek extension to submit campaign spending report

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) Mar Roxas and the Liberal Party (LP) has requested the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for a two-week extension to submit their report on campaign expenditures, party spokesman Barry Gutierrez said Thursday.

Roxas has been deemed as a "non-filer" by the poll body after he failed to submit his Statement of Campaign Expenditures (SOCE) despite an hour and a half extension of Wednesday’s deadline.

A request for extension was sent to Comelec on Wednesday, asking for 14 more days to complete the expenditure documents for Roxas and the LP, Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez cited the "voluminous number of receipts that have to be scanned and attached" as the primary reason for their extension request.

All the other presidential candidates have submitted their reports.

Independent candidate Sen. Grace Poe, whose campaign cost her ₱510.8 million, was the biggest spender.

Also read: Poe, Robredo biggest campaign spenders - Comelec

She was followed by United Nationalist Alliance bet Jojo Binay (₱463.3 million), President-elect Rodrigo Duterte (₱371.4 million), and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago (₱74.6 million).

Leni Robredo, Roxas' running mate, whose SOCE showed campaign expenditures totaling ₱418.8 million, spent the most among the vice presidential candidates.

Sen. Chiz Escudero was the second biggest spender with ₱321 million. Poe's running mate was followed by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (₱189.1 million), Sen. Bongbong Marcos (₱140.5 million), Sen. Antonio Trillanes (₱61.8 million), and Sen. Gringo Honasan (₱26.2 million).

The Fair Elections Act imposes administrative fines and penalties on candidates who fail to submit their SOCEs. National candidates who fail to report their expenses will be fined ₱30,000 for the first offense.

For the second or subsequent offense, the administrative fines can reach up to ₱60,000. In addition, the candidate shall be perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

Winning candidates are not allowed to take office until they file their SOCEs.

The SOCEs must include sources of contributions – stating the donor's personal details and contributed amount. They should also include advertising deals and broadcast logs that indicate the air time a candidate paid for advertisements.

Here is the full statement of Liberal Party spokesperson Barry Gutierrez.

A request for extension was sent to Comelec today, asking for an additional 14 days within which to complete the filing for Mar Roxas and the Liberal Party. The primary reason is the voluminous number of receipts that have to be scanned and attached to the document, in compliance with the rules and in the interest of complete transparency.

CNN Philippines correspondent AC Nicholls contributed to this report.