Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol. May 27, 2013 (PIA) – While there is still time, candidates who may have won, lost or withdrew in the last elections need to submit their statement of expenditures and contributions, reminds the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
Failure to do so means a ban from taking a post, if elected, or for a non-winner to lose his other chance of running to any position in the future, the Comelec warns through Atty. Jonas Biliran.
Rule 8, Section 2 of COMELEC Res. No. 9476 dated June 22, 2012 is the Comelec’s Campaign Finance and Disclosure Policy.
The resolution provides that, candidates, whether winning or losing in the last political bid, shall file their statements of election contributions and expenditures (SECE) to the Comelec in keeping with the guidelines on election spending of candidates and parties and in accordance with the law.
The candidates must file the Comelec-provided SECEs to the Comelec offices where they filed their certificates of candidacies, not later than 30 days after elections, or until June 12. Comelec then issues a certificate of compliance to a candidate so he could take his oath, or be cleared of duties.
Fair Elections Act provides that candidates other than for the Presidential post, are allowed to spend P3.00 for every voter registered in his constituency, while those running as independent can spend as much as P5.00.
According to the Department of Interior and Local Government, winning candidates can only take their oaths of office after they can show to their Comelec issued Certificate of Compliance to the SECE.
This also includes losing candidates or those who filed their certificate of candidacy, even those who have withdrawn their COC should pass their SECE,” Comelec said, based on Section 14 of Republic Act No. 7166.
The law provides that every candidate is obligated to file a statement of contributions and expenditures regardless of whether or not he or she pursued or withdrew his or her candidacy.
Failure to file the SECE could mean facing suspension on administrative offense, and a possible fine opf from P10,000 to P20,000.
In fact, according to the poll body, offenders can also face a case for perpetual disqualification from future elections. The law also said offenders can be penalized a maximum of six years in jail and perpetual disqualification from public office, based on the Fair Elections Act.