- Supreme Court junked Comelec’s petition regarding the extension of the filing of SOCE
- Petitioners Manuelito Luna and retired Army Col. Justino Padiernos failed to comply with the requirements according to Supreme Court
- Luna and Padiernos said that Comelec showed grave abuse of discretion after granting extension for the filing of SOCE
Supreme Court junked the petition against the appeal of extending the filing of the statements of contributions and expenditures (SOCE) of the candidates and political party from the original deadline on June 8 which was extended up to June 30 in the recently held May 2016 Elections.
Manuelito Luna, nominee for 1-Abilidad party-list, and retired Army Col. Justino Padiernos of the People's Freedom Party Justino Padiernos filed the petition, saying that the COMELEC showed grave abuse of discretion after allowing the extension of the submission of the candidates’ SOCE.
Luna and Padiernos mentioned the Republic Act 7166, Section 14 saying that candidate and treasurer of the political party shall submit the SOCE within 30 days after the election. It is stated in the petition that 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 petitioners added that there is no substantive justification for Comelec to disregard the ‘final and non-extendible deadline’ prescribed by Sec. 14 of RA 7166.
The Supreme Court thereafter released a resolution stating that the petition filed last June 20 was dismissed due to a technicality whereas the petitioners failed to attach a duplicate original or certified true copy of the assailed resolution along with the required number of copies. Submitted were merely the news reports regarding the Comelec resolution instead of the duplicate original or certified true copy of the resolution.
Aside from the Comelec, the Liberal Party, represented by its defeated standard bearer Manuel Roxas II was also named as part of the respondents for the extension of the filing of SOCE after failing to file on and before the set deadline. The Comelec then extended the deadline until June 30 despite going against the Comelec Campaign Finance Office's recommendation.
Commissioners who voted for the granting of the extension were Arthur Lim, Al Parreño, Sheriff Abas and Rowena Guanzon. Whereas, Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista and Commissioners Christian Robert Lim and Luie Guia voted against the grant for extension. - AA, Kami Media