BAGUIO CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the city urged all winning and losing candidates for the various elective positions in the recently concluded May 9, 2016 general and automated elections to file their respective statement of campaign contributions and expenditures on or before the prescribed deadline on June 8, 2016.
City Election Officer John Paul Martin said that it is the obligation of winning and losing candidates to file their respective statements of campaign contributions and expenditures for assessment and evaluation by the poll body for their compliance to existing election laws, rules and regulations.
“Winning and losing candidates have a maximum of thirty days to submit their respective statement of election contributions and expenditures during the duration of the campaign period in compliance with existing election laws, rules and regulations to prevent any complications in the future once they decide to aspire for an elective position or take their oath for an elective position by the end of June,” Martin stressed.
Under the Omnibus Election code, candidates are only required to spend a maximum of P3 per registered voter while political parties are allowed a maximum of P5 per voter as expenses.
Martin cited winning candidates will not be allowed to take their oath of office by the end of June if they will not comply with the requirement of submitting their statement of election contributions and expenditures while those losing candidates face the imposition of fines for their non-compliance to such provisions of the country’s election law.
According to him, pertinent forms in relation to the statement of election contributions and expenditures are available in their office for the winning and losing candidates to access in compliance to one of the lawful requirements in order to ascertain candidates who violated the election law, especially in terms of over spending during the elections.
Martin revealed the submitted statements of election contributions and expenditures will still be subjected to further validation, evaluation and assessment by the poll body’s campaign finance division in order to study whether or not winning and losing candidates have over spent during the conduct of the general and automated elections.
It can be recalled that during the May 2013 mid-term elections, seven winning and non-winning candidates for the various elective positions in the city were fined by the Comelec campaign finance division for their alleged failure to submit their complete statements of election contributions and expenditures during the prescribed 30-day grace period after the conduct of the political exercise.
Martin cited their reminders to the winning and losing candidates should not be taken for granted because it is part of their obligation under the law to submit their statements of election contributions and expenses to prevent the filing of appropriate charges against them by interest groups and individuals in the future that would compromise their stint public office or their political plans in the future./Dexter A. See