MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has released a list of candidates who are banned from holding public office for not filing their election contributions and expenses after the polls.
The Comelec perpetually disqualified a total of 105 candidates to hold public office "due to repeated failure to file their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE)" after past elections.
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The website said the decision to bar from running those named in the list is "declared with finality by the Commission."
All candidates – winning or losing – and political party treasurers must submit SOCEs to Comelec within 30 days after election day, according to Section 14 of Republic Act 7166 which provides for synchronized national and local elections.
Winning candidates cannot assume their elected positions until they have submitted the required SOCEs. As for political parties, their nominated winning candidates would also not be allowed to sit unless the SOCEs are submitted.
First-time violators of the requirement to file SOCEs face an administrative fine between P1,000 and P30,000, as set by Comelec. This does not apply to candidates for elective barangay office, according to RA 7166.
For a second or subsequent offense, "the administrative fine shall be from two thousand pesos (P2,000.00) to sixty thousand pesos (P60,000.00), in the discretion of the Commission. In addition, the offender shall be subject to perpetual disqualification to hold public office." – Rappler.com
Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.