MANILA, Philippines?The Commission on Elections is set to extend by 15 days the deadline for the filing of statement of contributions and expenditures for the candidates and political parties who took part in the May 10 elections.
Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said the election body initially granted a petition by the party-list group, Akbayan Citizen?s Party, 15 days more to file their statement.
?We have responded to it. We have granted it,? Sarmiento told reporters, adding that the new deadline would be June 24.
The filing of the deadline was supposed to be on Wednesday, but several candidates and political parties sought the extension.
Sarmiento said the resolution was being prepared on Wednesday for the signature of all commissioners, but he quoted Chair Jose Melo saying that to be fair, the extension should also be granted to all parties and candidates that had not filed yet.
?We expressed it to the chair and he said it should be across-the-board, meaning it applies to all candidates,? Sarmiento said.
According to Comelec, the only candidates who have already filed their respective statements are President-elect Benigno ?Noynoy? Aquino III and his losing rivals Gilbert ?Gibo? Teodoro Jr., Senator Manuel Villar and Senator Jamby Madrigal.
Among the vice presidential candidates, those who have submitted are Perfecto Yasay Jr. and Sen. Loren Legarda. The senatorial candidates who submitted are Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; senators Jinggoy Estrada, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Lito Lapid and Ramon ?Bong? Revilla Jr.; senators-elect Tito Sotto and Ralph Recto; Rey Langit and Raul Lambino.
A dozen party-list organizations have also complied.
Comelec Resolution No. 8944, issued on May 25, provides that the statement must indicate the amount of contribution, the date of its receipt, and the full name and address of the person who gave the contribution.
It should also state the amount spent in every expenditure, the date it was incurred, the full name and address of the person who paid for it, and the purpose of the expenditure. It should likewise indicate if the candidate has an ?unpaid obligation? to any person.
Failure to file the statement will prevent a person from assuming office, if he is elected.
Non-compliance also constitutes an administrative offense that is punishable by a fine ranging from P1,000 to P30,000 at the discretion of the Comelec.
Violation of the spending limit is also an election offense, which is punishable by disenfranchisement, disqualification from holding public office, and imprisonment from one to six years.