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The Comelec (Commission on Elections) granted yesterday (16 June 2016), the request of the LP (Liberal Party) and its defeated presidential candidate, Mar Roxas, to extend the deadline for its financial report for last May’s elections.

Voting 4-3, the commission en banc gave the Liberal  Party until June 30 to submit its SOCE (Statement of Contributions and Expenditures).

Those in favor of the extension were Rowena Guanzon, Albert Lim, Al Parreño and Sheriff Abas while Comelec chair Andres Bautista, Luie Guia and Christian Robert Lim—in charge of the poll body’s campaign finance office—voted against it.

In a press briefing, Comelec spokesperson  James Jimenez said that “The voting was 4-3. Four voted to extend the deadline up to June 30, the three voted not to extend it. The chair voted not to extend it but he modified his vote to say no extension but he would allow late filing with the imposition of the necessary fines and penalties,”.

Jimenez said majority felt it was absurd if the deadline was retained, since it would defeat the purpose of the vote.

“You have to understand that it is quite a huge effect if this deadline is retained,” Jimenez said. “The problem [in not extending the deadline]  is it will essentially defeat the voice of the voters who voted for certain candidates but will not be allowed to assume office simply because they have no SOCEs. That is what we want to avoid.”

Republic Act No. 7166 and Section 5 of Comelec Resolution No. 9991 state that winning candidates elected to any public office nominated by parties shall be barred from holding office until the party has filed its own SOCE.

Vice President-elect Leni Robredo is a member of the LP, which only filed its SOCE almost a week after the original June 8 deadline. The LP documents did not include Roxas’ SOCE.

Source: Inquirer.net

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