SC junks petition vs. extension of SOCE filing

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Section 11 of the Omnibus Election Code gives candidates up to 30 days after the elections to file their SOCEs, regardless of whether they won or lost. Candidates who fail to submit their SOCEs will face an administrative fine ranging from ₱10,000 to ₱30,000 depending on the position they ran for.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition questioning the legality of a Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution extending the filing of reports on election expenses by candidates and their parties.

The court’s ruling clears the way for Vice President-elect Leni Robredo and other candidates who won in the May 9 polls to assume their posts on June 30.

The decision, however, was based on a technicality – petitioners Manuel Luna and Justino Padiernos failed to attach the assailed Comelec resolution in their petition.

The petitioners argued that the Comelec amended the law on the filing of the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) when it extended the June 8 deadline for the filing of the election expense report.

They said the law requiring the filing of the SOCE says candidates cannot assume office even if they won the elections if they or their parties fail to submit their SOCEs within the deadline.

Voting 4-3, the Comelec on June 16 granted a 14-day extension for filing the SOCE. This applied to the Liberal Party (LP), Aksyon Demokratiko, Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino, and all candidates who failed to submit their SOCEs by June 8.

Also read: Mar Roxas submits report on campaign funds: 2nd top spender with ₱487M

Although Robredo submitted her SOCE on time, the LP didn’t meet the original deadline and sought the extension.

Comelec Commissioner Robert Lim, who strongly opposed the extension, resigned last week as chairman of the poll body's Campaign Finance Office (CFO) in protest.