Comelec admits probing JV for overspending
MANILA, Philippines–The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday admitted it was investigating whether or not Sen. JV Ejercito had overspent in his campaign for senator in 2013.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes, however, stressed Ejercito was not being singled out for a probe.
“Yes, we are investigating him. But not only him. All the 33 senatorial candidates in 2013, we are investigating the SOCEs (statement of contributions and expenditures) they submitted to us,” Brillantes told reporters on Thursday.
Part of the job
He said the probe was just part of the job of the Comelec’s campaign finance unit (CFU).
“The CFU reviews all SOCE submissions. We are not pinpointing anyone in particular,” he said, explaining that the probe was meant to determine if the SOCEs bore complete and truthful information on the expenses and contributions of the candidates.
Brillantes made the statement amid allegations by Ejercito’s camp that the Comelec was building a disqualification case against him on the grounds that he had overspent in the last campaign.
Ejercito said this could be part of an effort by the Aquino administration to cripple the opposition ahead of the 2016 elections.
In his SOCE, Ejercito disclosed that he received P135,931,740.75 in contributions and spent a total of P138,207,825.76 for the 2013 senatorial elections.
The Comelec earlier issued an en banc resolution ousting Laguna Gov. ER Ejercito, JV’s cousin, for a similar electoral violation.
Meanwhile, Brillantes reminded those who had yet to file their SOCEs or corrected SOCEs to do so before the June 30 deadline.
He said there would be no more extensions of the deadline since the original deadline was initially set on May 12 but was extended because of the numerous requests for extension from candidates, political parties and party-list organizations.
Brillantes said that after the deadline, he would ask the CFU for a list of candidates who should be disqualified from running in 2016 because of their failure to submit their SOCEs.