Roxas, LP ask for 14-day extension to submit SOCE

MANILA — The Liberal Party (LP) on Thursday said it has already requested the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for a 14-day extension to file the Statement of Campaign Expenditures (SOCE) for the party and its standard bearer Mar Roxas.

Roxas has been deemed as a “non-filer” by the poll body after he failed to submit his SOCE at the deadline Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the LP was among three national political parties who failed to submit their report on campaign expenditures, along with Aksyon Demokratiko and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

Party campaign spokesman Barry Gutierrez said the primary reason for their failure to beat the deadline was due to the voluminous number of receipts that have to be scanned and attached to the document.

“Every receipt has to be attached in compliance with the rules and in the interest of complete transparency,” he said.

According to the LP, the request for a two-week extension to complete the filing was sent to Comelec Wednesday.

The Fair Elections Act imposes administrative fines and penalties on candidates who fail to submit their SOCEs.

National candidates who fail to report their expenses will be fined Php30,000 for the first offense.

For subsequent offenses, administrative fines can reach up to Php60,000 on top of being perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

Winning candidates are not also allowed to take office until they file their SOCEs.

The SOCEs must include sources of contributions -– stating the donor’s personal details and contributed amount.

They should also include advertising deals and broadcast logs that indicate the air time a candidate paid for advertisements.

In the meantime, the other presidential candidates, as well as all vice-presidential candidates, have submitted their respective SOCEs on time.

Among the presidential aspirants, Senator Grace Poe has been, so far, the biggest spender whose campaign cost her Php510.8 million.

She was followed by United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) bet Jejomar Binay with Php463.3 million; President-elect Rodrigo Duterte with Php371.4 million.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago reported the least campaign expenditure at Php74.6 million.

Among the vice-presidential candidates, Roxas’ running mate Leni Robredo spent the most with campaign expenditures reaching Php418.8 million.

Senator Chiz Escudero came second with Php321 million, followed by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano with Php189.1 million.

Meanwhile, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos reported spending Php140.5 million during the campaign. Senator Antonio Trillanes spent Php61.8 million and Senator Gringo Honasan with Php26.2 million. Cielito Reganit/PNA/northboundasia.com