[News] Comelec: 670 brgy electoral bets in Lipa may face fines


LIPA CITY–At least 670 candidates in the recent October barangay elections here may be penalized by the Commission on Elections for failing to submit their required Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures  (SOCE) on the deadline date.

Election Officer Atty. Candy Orense told The Filipino Connection only 817 out of the 1,487 candidates who ran in the previous elections filed their respective SOCEs well within the poll body’s November 27 deadline to submit the said declaration.

Most of the candidates who did not submit their SOCEs were losing bets. Winners of the recent elections beat the deadline.

“Maybe because these candidates think that once they lose the elections, they are no longer required to file (their elections spending), which is wrong,” Orense said.

Section 14 of the Republic Act 7166 requires every candidate and a treasurer of a political party will have to file their SOCE within 30 days after election (i.e. last November 27).

SOCE is a document that lists the candidate’s campaign contributions received, the name of the contributor, the amounts of the donations, as well as the receipts to prove how the money was spent at the course of the campaign. Election laws limit the campaign spending of barangay candidates to P5 per registered voter.

Those who failed to submit their SOCEs could face administrative penalties of P1,000 to P30,000 for the first offense, while second-time violators could face fines of P2,000 to P60,000 and perpetual disqualification to run for public office.

Non-submission of SOCEs also constitutes an election offense punishable under the Omnibus Election Code, with penalties ranging from one to six years imprisonment, deprivation of the right to vote and disqualification to hold public office.

Orense likewise said that they have already referred the names of those who did not file their SOCEs to the Comelec’s Legal Department for appropriate action.

Lipa City has 153,024 registered voters in this year’s barangay polls, which both the Comelec and local police dubbed as “generally peaceful.”


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