VICE President Leni Robredo may not be able to discharge her duties because her political organization, the Liberal Party, failed to file its mandatory statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE), an official of the Commission on Elections said Thursday.
“It is in the law that if the political party was not able to file the SOCE, their candidates that won cannot assume their posts,” said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez. “That is what the law says right now. As you can imagine, that might have a far reaching consequences.”
The poll spokesman said the LP is answerable to Robredo and other winning candidates.
“If you are looking at it from the point of view of someone who ran for mayor, for example, the mayor who filed his SOCE is not at fault if the party failed to file its own SOCE. The party will have to be answerable to their candidates,” Jimenez said.
On the last day of SOCE submission, presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II failed to submit his campaign expenditures citing “voluminous number of receipts that have to be scanned and attached to the document.”
His election lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, maintained that there was no violation of the law if his client failed to file his SOCE.
“There’s no problem. It was just a late filing. There was no violation of the law. He will still file [the SOCE] and the worst-case scenario [is] to pay a fine,” Macalintal said.
On Thursday, Roxas and his camp filed a letter of request asking the Comelec for a 14-day extension of the period of SOCE submission.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said that the commission en banc did not decide on the Roxas request because its head of election steering committee, Commissioner Christian Robert Lim, is currently on leave.
Data from the Comelec showed that the LP fielded a total of 12,296 candidates, including standard bearer Manuel Roxas II and Vice President-elect Leni Robredo.
Aksyon Demokratico, which also failed to submit its SOCE, had a total of 528 candidates in the May 9 elections.
No data was available on the number of candidates fielded by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masa, which also failed to submit its SOCE.
A spokesman for the LP campaign, Akbayan party-list Rep. Barry Gutierrez, said the failure of Roxas to meet the June 9 deadline for filing a SOCE would not affect Robredo in any way.
At the same time, Gutierrez said Roxas would comply with the Comelec requirement as soon as he is able to collate all the supporting documents for his SOCE.
Robredo, he said, had already filed her SOCE with the Comelec, which showed she spent a total of P418,664,130.60 for her vice presidential campaign. The vice president-elect got a total of P423,163,737.34 in contributions, based on her SOCE. Of this amount, P17,057,487.15 of the donations were in kind.
The SOCE filed by presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe showed that businessman Oscar Valera was her biggest donor, with P50 million in cash donations.
Her mother Jesusa Poe or popularly known as Susan Roces, was her second biggest contributor, with P25 million.
Odilon Sta. Teresa and Maria delas Mercedez Zobel both ranked third as Poe’s biggest donors contributing P20 million each.
Poe’s husband, Teodoro Vera Llamanzares, on the other hand, gave his wife a total of P6 million for her campaign.
A certain Teodoro Paraiso Llamanzares also gave Poe P4 million cash.
Poe was the biggest presidential campaign spender, spending P510,845,262.56 from the P511,950,000 in donations.
In a text message to reporters, Poe said as an independent candidate, she could not rely on a political party to defray her campaign expenses, which meant she had to rely on more expensive media advertising.
She expressed her gratitude, however, to supporters who were generous enough to cover the cost of political activities that they thought were necessary.
Robredo’s biggest campaign donor, meanwhile, was presidential sister and actress Kris Aquino, who gave her P30.83 million.
Base on Robredo’s submitted SOCE, the actress and television host donated four times, including three instances of P10 million each and P830,000.
During the past election campaign period, President Benigno Aquino III’s sister was seen alongside Robredo in political advertisements and attending events to campaign for her and Roxas.
Aside from the youngest sister, the third sibling, Viel Aquino-Dee, also contributed P1 million.
In her SOCE, 125 individuals made donations between P1 million and P5 million.
Other top donors among 125 individuals are Eduardo Borromeo Cu Unjieng (P10 million);
Peter Garucho (P10 million); Jose Baltazar Buenaventura (P10 million); Wellington Lim (P10 million); Harvey Keh (P5 million); and Lisa Gokingwei (P200,000).
Robredo received the most contributions in the six-way vice presidential race, with cash donations reaching P406,106,250.19.
Aside from this, she received some P17 million of in-kind contributions, the bulk of which were the P16.8 million worth of advertisements listed under Oriental Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr., LP treasurer.
Robredo is also the top spender in the vice presidential race with P418.6 million, entirely funded by contributors. She declared zero personal spending in her campaign.
The chief of staff of outgoing Senate President Franklin Drilon, Rey Bantug, said they just received a copy of the Comelec resolution and would still need to go over the document.
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