COMELEC WARNS BETS ON POLL EXPENSES
MANILA, JUNE 10, 2004 (STAR) By Mayen Jaymalin - Except for four candidates, all those who ran for various posts in the May 10 elections have yet to submit their sworn statements of election contributions and expenditures.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has announced that candidates have only until this midnight to file their sworn statements. Winning candidates who fail to comply with this rule will not be allowed to assume their posts. Aside from being barred from holding public office, they shall also pay a fine ranging from P1,000 to P60,000.
Of the four aspirants for vice president, only Herminio Aquino of the Alyansa ng Pag-asa submitted the required report, stating in his sworn statement that he spent a total of P6.1 million for his campaign.
The three others who have complied with the Comelec rule are administration senatorial bet Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) senatorial bet Alfredo Lim and retired general Ramon Montaño, of Pilipinas Isang Bansa Isang Diwa.
In his statement, Revilla declared that he spent over P29 million for advertisements and other campaign materials, some P3 million of which came from his political party.
Lim, for his part, claimed to have received a total of P2 million in donations from his supporters and that he shelled out P4 million from his own pocket.
Under Comelec rules, senatorial bets may spend P3 per registered voter and an additional P5 per voter if they are affiliated with a political party,
Meanwhile, all candidates for president and vice president are allowed to spend P10 per voter or a maximum of P435 million for the country’s 43.5 million registered voters.
Comelec records showed that 53 presidential, vice presidential and senatorial candidates have yet to file their sworn statements of contributions and expenditures.
For national candidates, including presidential, vice presidential, senatorial and party-list bets, the sworn statements can be filed with the Law Department of the Comelec head office in Intramuros, Manila.
Those who ran for representative, governor, vice governor and board member can file the sworn statement with the provincial election supervisor.
For local candidates in the National Capital Region, the office of the Regional Reelection Director will be on hand to receive the sworn statements. Local candidates in other cities and municipalities can file their statements with their respective city/municipal election officers.
Under the rules and regulations governing electoral contributions and expenditures in the May 10 elections, every candidate and treasurer of the party are required to "keep a detailed, full and accurate records of all contributions received and expenditures incurred" from the start of the campaign period up to the elections.
A sworn statement of these contributions and expenditures must be filed with the Comelec within 30 days after the holding of elections.
Included in the statement will be the amount of contribution, the date of receipt, and the full name and exact address of the person from whom the contribution was received.
For expenditures, the date the expenses were incurred and the full name and exact address of the person from whom payment was made as well as the purpose of the expenditure must be included in the report. Any unpaid obligation, its nature and amount and to whom the obligation is owed must also be put on record.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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