MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections is checking its records to find out if Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-million pork barrel scam, had contributed to any politician’s campaign funds.
“We are just checking our records since it’s all over the news now. She appears to be close to several politicians so we want to know if she contributed to anyone of them or not,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said in an interview.
He clarified, however, that the Comelec was not concerned with where the politicians or their contributors obtained their funds as much as whether the contributions were reported to the election body.
“Did the candidates or the donors file the necessary documents for their campaign donations? Even the contributors should have also filed reports,” he said.
Brillantes explained that failure to include campaign contributions in a candidate’s Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) despite being proven as truthful could result in perjury charges since those documents were made under oath.
He cited the Omnibus Election Code, which states that all candidates are required to file with the Comelec their SOCEs containing “the full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election” within 30 days after election day.
Also, Rule 3, Section 1 of Comelec Resolution 9476 provides that “every person giving a contribution to any candidate shall file with the Commission a report of contributions within 30 days following the day of the election.”
Brillantes said they have already started checking the SOCE records of the candidates.
“Initially, so far, in the 2013, we have not seen (her name among the contributors) yet,” he said, adding that the Comelec will also look into the SOCE records of different candidates and political parties covering the 2007 and 2010 elections.