CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Luie Guia on Friday, June 3, reminded all candidates in the 2016 elections to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) on June 8, the deadline.
Guia issued the reminder in Cagayan de Oro City where he oversaw the Random Manual Audit-Level II in the region. He said that the Comelec has never been remiss in reminding the candidates of the mandatory requirement.
"I would like to say that we have been reminding the candidates because Comelec will file cases against those who fail to submit," Guia said.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, candidates who fail to submit their SOCE twice are barred from running for public office, Guia said. (Read: Common mistakes in declaring campaign expenses)
"The Comelec will file cases for non-submission of SOCE and for those who failed to submit it for two consecutive elections, [they] will be barred from running again," Guia said.
"The Comelec has been very clear on the requirements of the candidates, so they must comply with those requirements," he added.
Guia also said that the 2016 automated elections have been very efficient and transparent, that results were transmitted an hour after the closing of the precinct centers.
"We now have more politicians who have learned the word 'concede' as opposed to [when we had] the traditional manual canvassing," Guia said.
Guia also noted the speedy transmission of elections results since these are sent to transparency servers and teachers no longer have to manually count the results.
"So now the politicians can see the result immediately and they can compare the results to the election board of canvassers in their areas," Guia said.
Misamis Oriental Comelec officer Joseph Hamilton Cuevas said that in the province, they were able to proclaim winners less than 24 hours after the polling precincts closed.
"There was no election protest, no election incidents; it went on perfectly smooth," Cuevas said.
Guia said that the Comelec will submit its findings on the problems encountered during the 2016 elections, among them, the proper shading of ballots, so these can be addressed in time for the next polls.
"We need more time for education and information campaign to ensure that voters will shade their ballot correctly," Guia said. – Rappler.com