By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
SEVEN candidates who lost in the Iloilo City council race failed to file their respective Statements of Contributions Expenditure (SOCEs) within the deadline on June 13, 2013.
Based on data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Iloilo City office, the candidates who failed to submit their SOCE were John Douglas Janducayan, Mark Khaizer Jadulos, Jose Allen Aquino, Eddie Marie Bañez, Rex Markus Sarabia, and Wilfredo Garcia.
According to Iloilo City Elections Officer Mavil Sia, 52 of the 59 candidates in the May 13, 2019 elections filed their SOCEs.
“Out of the 59 candidates, 51 were able to pass within the deadline. Eight candidates including the late Armand Parcon were not able to submit their SOCEs,” she said.
Both the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Comelec require all winners and losers in the recent elections to submit the statement by June 13, 2019.
Sia said the deadline is non-extendable.
She lamented that most of the candidates filed their SOCEs on June 13.
“Supposedly, ang receiving should only be until 8 p.m. but we extended to 10 p.m. considering nga ari na di sila from 8 p.m. gahinulat, te indi man naton sila mapapuli,” Sia said.
According to Sia, there are even some candidates who became hot tempered and raised their voice while waiting to submit their SOCEs.
“Kon last day na gani pressured na ta tanan especially last night may mga candidates daw medyo nagtaas ila boses kay kuno wala kuno sila well-informed nga kinahanglan amo ni himuon pero kon lantawon ta, they have one month to comply with this,” she stressed.
Sia emphasized that it is better for candidates to file their SOCEs a week before the deadline so they can correct any mistake in their declarations.
“Nami tani nga mag-file ta at least a week before the deadline so that you will have a chance pa to rectify kon ano pa ang mga errors nga pwede i-correct or mistakes nga na-commit,” she said.
For the candidates who failed to file the SOCE, Sia said they will be required by the Comelec Campaign Finance Office to pay administrative fines.
“Ang mga wala kafile kon first offense, ultimately they will receive a demand letter from the Campaign Finance Office to pay administrative fines,” she said
However, repeat offenders will automatically face disqualification to run in the next elections.
The SOCEs will be submitted to the Campaign Finance Office and will be scrutinized for overspending, forgery, and other possible election offenses.