The Supreme Court has required the Commission on Elections to comment on the petition questioning its decision to extend the deadline for the filing of the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures by candidates and their parties in the May 9 elections.
During its en banc session on Tuesday, the SC gave the Comelec 10 days to submit their comment to the petition filed by the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The Court directed respondents to comment within 10 days on the petition for certiorari dated July 5, 2016 challenging Comelec Resolution No. 10147 dated June 23, 2016,” SC spokesperson Theodore Te said, in a media briefing.
PDP-Laban’s petition challenges the legality of Comelec Resolution No. 10147 issued on June 23, 2016, which extended the deadline for the filing of SOCE until June 30.
The Comelec earlier set deadline for the filing of SOCEs on June 8.
However, the deadline was extended upon the request of the Liberal Party which cited as reasons “the confusion brought by the stringent new requirements for its submission and the voluminous documents that will be attached to the SOCE filing of LP and its presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas.
The poll body also flaunted the possibility of Vice President-elect Leni Robredo as well as several senators and local winning candidates not being able to assume their posts as the reason for extending the deadline for the filing of the SOCE.
The Comelec explained that refusal to allow winning candidates from assuming the posts they were voted for due to the failure to file SOCE is in effect disenfranchising millions of voters.
In its petition, the PDP-Laban through its Secretary-General, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez argued that Comelec Resolution No. 10147 should be set aside as it violates the provision of Section 14 of Republic Act 7166 or the Synchronized Local and National Elections and Electoral Reforms Act.
Section 14 mandates all candidates and the treasurer of the political party to file their SOCEs within 30 days after the day of election.
The insisted that under Section 14 the filing of SOCE is “mandatory and
The petitioner added the extension of the 30-day deadline is tantamount to amending Section 14 of R.A. 7166, which is illegal since such the duty to promulgate and amend laws belongs to Congress.
The PDP-Laban also said the extension was a clear case of political accommodation in favor of LP.