DILG reminds newly-elected officials to file SOCE before June 8
MANILA, Philippines — Newly-elected officials have been urged to file their statement of contributions and expenditure (SOCE) before June 8, Wednesday, to avoid any problems that may come with their oath taking, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.
In a statement on Tuesday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año reminded winning candidates that a “no SOCE, no oath taking” rule will be implemented to ensure that politicians comply with the law.
The SOCE is a document detailing how much a candidate spent for his or her campaign. This will also identify who, if ever, are their campaign donors who helped them through cash or in-kind contributions received by the personality or the party.
“It’s plain and simple: No SOCE, no oath taking for NEOs [newly elected officials]. We encourage our NEOs to start their term right by complying with the provisions of the law and submitting their SOCE to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on or before June 8, 2022,” Año said.
“Sana po ay simulan ninyo ng tama ang inyong mga termino (I hope you start your terms on the right track). Comply with your legal obligation as enshrined in our Constitution,” he added.
The outgoing DILG head stressed that declaring the SOCEs before the start of a winning candidate’s term is required by Republic Act No. 7166 or the Synchronized National and Local Elections and Electoral Reforms Act, which also states that no official will be allowed to assume their posts without submitting the said document.
According to DILG, Section 14 of RA No. 7166 states that “Every candidate and treasurer of the political party shall, within 30 days after the day of the election, file in duplicate with the offices of the Commission the full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election”.
The same provision bars elected officials from taking their seats without filing the SOCE before Comelec. Failing to file SOCEs for the second time may subject the politician to perpetual disqualification from public office.
“It was there on their COCs that they filed during the start of their bid to run for public office. So we implore our NEOs to walk the talk and comply with the law and their commitment to the Comelec,” Año explained.
As of Monday, Comelec said that in the national elections, two presidential bets and four senatorial candidates have already submitted their SOCEs. The two presidential candidates are Senator Panfilo Lacson and physician Jose Montemayor.
The party of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), submitted its SOCE on Monday, saying that they spent P272 million for Marcos’ campaign.
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