COMELEC to candidates: Time to report expenses, donations

By Danilo E. Doguiles

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato -- With the elections over, candidates should now account for the expenses and the donations they received for reporting to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), an official of the commission here reminded.

“After the elections, all candidates are required to file their statement of contributions and (SoCE)expenses,” said Atty. Duque Kadatuan, acting provincial election supervisor. “Whether they won or lost in the recently concluded elections, they should file.”

The official added that candidates have until 5 p.m. of June 13, 2013 to file their SoCE.

According to Section 94 Article XI of the Omnibus Election Code, “’contribution’ includes a gift, donation, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value, or a contract, promise or agreement to contribute, whether or not legally enforceable, made for the purpose of influencing the results of the elections but shall not include services rendered without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time in behalf of a candidate or political party. It shall also include the use of facilities voluntarily donated by other persons, the money value of which can be assessed based on the rates prevailing in the area.”

The same Code defines "expenditure" to include “the payment or delivery of money of anything of value, or a contract, promise or agreement to make an expenditure, for the purpose of influencing the results of the election. It shall also include the use of facilities personally owned by the candidate, the money value of the use of which can be assessed based on the rates prevailing in the area.”

Koronadal City acting election officer Ma. Dorothy Losa in a separate interview said: “Non-submission of statement of contributions and expenditures carries a penalty of P10,000.”

Kadatuan also appealed to candidates to help in the clean-up by removing the tarpaulins and other campaign materials that they and their supporters have posted during the campaign period.

“When I came to South Cotabato as the acting election supervisor, I was impressed with its clean environment. I hope to leave the province as clean as it was before the elections,” he said.

Before his interim assignment here, Kadatuan was provincial election officer of North Cotabato province.

Yesterday afternoon, the Provincial Board of Canvassers led by Kadatuan proclaimed the winners of the May 13 elections.

Incumbent 1st District Representative Pedro Acharon Jr. retains his post over first-time candidate Barangay Apopong, General Santos City Chairman Ruel Pacquiao, brother of Sarangani Congressman Manny Pacquiao.

Ferdinand Hernandez was proclaimed winner in the congressional race for the province’s second district against incumbent Vice Governor Elmo Tolosa.

Incumbent 2nd District Rep. Daisy Avance-Fuentes returns to her former post as governor after winning against incumbent Gov. Arthur Arthur Pingoy Jr.

Board member Cecile Diel was also proclaimed as vice-governor elect.

Also proclaimed winner of the election for board members were: Gly Mariano-Trabado, Romeo Tamayo, and Jovelyn Baitus in the 1st District as well as Vicente "Vic" De Jesus, Ma. Ester Marin Catorce, Ellen Grace Zubere-Albios, Ervin Luntao, Agustin "Teng" Demaala, Romulo Solivio and Samuel Ladot in the 2nd District.

In Region 12, South Cotabato was the first to declare a complete set of provincial officials.

Region 12 or Soccsksargen Region covers the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, and Cotabato. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)


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