7 candidates fail to file SOCEs in Cebu City, to incur penalties
CEBU CITY, Philippines — At least seven losing candidates were not able to file their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs) in the Cebu City Commission on Elections (Comelec) district offices.
Marilou Paredes, the South District election officer, said that the three candidates from the South District and four candidates from the North District will have to file their SOCEs at the central office in Manila.
The candidates included North District congressional candidates Prisca Niña Mabatid, and Avenescio Piramide as well as councilorial candidates Juanito Luna, Manny Momongan, Alejandro Cabido, Janet Calleno, and Raymundo Crystal.
Paredes said that they will incur an administrative penalty for filing late and if they cannot file at all, they may not be able to run again in future elections.
Fortunately, all winning candidates in the city have filed their SOCEs on time securing their seats.
In the event that a winning candidate failed to file, the district office can still accept their SOCE until 30 days after the deadline, but they would have had to file administrative fees.
“Dili na mi moreceive diri sa ilang documents, sa Manila na sila mofile. If losing, murag two strikes man and then dili na sila kadagan,” said Paredes.
All the filed SOCEs will be forwarded to the Central Office in Manila in the coming days after the district offices finish compiling and organizing the files.
Candidates will face scrutiny in their expenses as a candidate is only allowed to spend P5 per registered voter for independent candidates or P3 per registered voter for candidates with political parties.
This means that mayoral and vice mayoral candidates can only spend up to P2,199,132 for those with parties and up to P3,665,220 for independent candidates for the entire voting populace of city, which is at 733,044 registered voters.
The South District has 395,955 voters which means candidates running for Congress or council members there can only spend from P1,187,865 to P1,979,775.
On the other hand, North District has 337,089 voters which means candidates can spend from P1,011,267 to P1,685,445 in expenses.
Going beyond the expenses cap may entail consequences, but Paredes said the Central Office will be responsible for calling out the candidate and go through the hearing process.
Unfortunately, Cebu City Comelec did not release the information on the expenses of individual candidates.
Lawyer Edwin Cadungog said that each candidate must give permission for the media to access their SOCEs.
Only Cebu City Comelec has not released the information to the public among the Comelec offices in Cebu. /rcg
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