– Atty. Manuelito Luna of 1-Abilidad Party List and retired soldier of the People’s Reform Party Justino Padeiernos requested the Supreme Court to nullify the poll body’s decision in granting extension for the submission of SOCE.
– Manuel Roxas III and the Liberal Party failed to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) on time.
– The Commission on Elections approved the request of the Liberal Party extending the deadline for submission of its SOCE.
Atty. Manuelito Luna of 1-Abilidad Party List and retired soldier of the People’s Reform Party Justino Padeiernos filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) asking for the nullification of the decision of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) that granted the request of the Liberal Party (LP) to extend deadline for the submission of their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).
Their 20-page petition for certiorari alleged that the COMELEC has gravely abused its discretion when it decided to allow the requested extension.
According to the petitioners, it is provided under Section 14 of the Republic Act 7166 that every candidate and treasurer of a political party shall file their SOCO within thirty (30) days after the election.
“It [Comelec] is constitutionally and statutorily mandated to enforce and administer all election laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall,” the petition stated.
Petitioners said that the decision extending the SOCE deadline is equivalent “to an impermissible amendment of Section 14 of RA7166.”
“There is no substantive justification for the Commission (Comelec) to disregard the ‘final and non-extendible deadline’ prescribed by Sec. 14 of RA 7166,” they added.
“As civic-minded citizens and taxpayers, petitioners have a personal stake in the resolution of the controversy, and are necessarily injured or threatened to suffer injury when an agency of government honors the law in its violation than in its obedience, as in this case,” petitioners stated, recognizing the fact that as tax payers, they have a legal standing to challenge the decision of the poll body.