SOCE: Comelec-7 will not grant extension of filing
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Commission on Elections in Central Visayas (Comelec-7) has once again reiterated that there will be no extensions for the filing of the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures or SOCE after November 29.
Ivan Delos Santos, Comelec-7 administrative officer, told CDN Digital on Wednesday, November 29, that the candidates, whether they won or lost in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) have to file their SOCE to the Comelec.
Delos Santos said that the province still could not provide the data percentage of the SOCE filed in the other provinces in the region because the regional office has yet to receive the results.
He said that only Bohol was able to furnish them a copy as of Tuesday, November 28.
As of Tuesday, the province of Bohol recorded around 48 percent of SOCE filed by the candidates. Based on their data, there were 23,792 BSKE candidates who ran in the Oct. 30 elections in Bohol.
He added that they also assisted some losing candidates because they thought that the deadline for SOCE filing was November 30.
“Kay 30 days after election day man, unya naa may [October 31] mao nang [November] 29 ang deadline,” he said.
Delos Santos said that those who fail to file within the deadline will have to face sanction from the Comelec Manila.
If ever the candidates were fined, there would be a demand letter from the Comelec Manila, and failure to comply would result in an election offense for not complying because it was mandatory.
“I think 30 days is more than enough, especially sa mga losing candidates,” he added.
Last October 27, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued a memorandum on revocation of the SOCE requirement to the DILG.
According to DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2023-165 signed by DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos, Jr., considering that the Comelec requires the candidates to file their SOCE, “the additional requirement of the submission to DILG of the COMELEC Certification of SOCE filing may be deemed as duplicative.”
“Hence, the DILG hereby revokes the requirement that a newly elected official submit to DILG, before assuming office, a Certification from COMELEC of SOCE filing,” the memorandum reads.
“However, in relation to the October 30, 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, we remind all outgoing and newly elected Barangay and SK Officials to work together to ensure the timely inventory, liquidation, and turnover of all barangay and SK properties, financial records, documents, and accountabilities, prior to the assumption of the newly elected officials,” said Abalos.
Filing of COC to Comelec: Mandatory
Last November 21, Omar Shariff Mamalinta, Comelec Cebu Province spokesperson, told CDN Digital that the filing of SOCE to the Comelec is “mandatory.”
“Sa among case [sa Comelec], until November 29 mi modawat and [if naay] di maabot, adto na sila [mo-file] sa Comelec Manila,” Mamalinta said.
He added that the Comelec central office in Manila would then send them information about the candidates who failed to file their SOCE, and until then the central office would be the one to inform them if there are charges or penalties against the candidates.
According to Section 39 of RA 7166, failure to submit SOCE will constitute an administrative offense and the offenders will pay an administrative fine ranging from P1,000 to P30,000 at the discretion of the Comelec.
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