June 10, 2016

June 30 SOCE Extension? Leni Robredo used obsolete rule

Vice-president-elect Leni Robredo says deadline is 30 June 2016 but TP discovers she cited an obsolete Comelec Resolution.

In a previous TP article, it was shown that the Liberal Party’s failure to file its Statement of Campaign Contributions and Expenditures automatically disqualifies all LP-nominated candidates who won in the 2016 Elections. This includes VP Leni Robredo and the 5 LP senators-elect.

Leni dispels “rumors”

In an interview, Vice-president elect Leni Robredo said, “Ang mahalaga naman dito according to the rules na makapag-submit [ng SOCE ang LP] before June 30 kasi kung hindi siya mag-submit before June 30 talagang hindi kami makakaupo (What's important here is that according to the rules, it's okay as long as you submit [your SOCE] before June 30 otherwise you really can't take the post) [Rappler]”

Robredo was referring to Comelec Resolution 9873 dated 15 May 2014, which extended the deadline for SOCE filing of 2013 election candidates from 12 May 2014 to 30 June 30 2014. Comelec Resolution 9873 amended Comelec Resolution 9849, which extended the original deadline set by Comelec Resolution 9476 from the 12 June 2013 to 12 May 2014.

Sounds confusing? Here’s a quick explanation:
1. Comelec originally set SOCE filing deadline to 12 June 2013, or 30 days after 2013 National Elections.
2. Comelec then extended the deadline to 12 May 2014.
3. Comelec further extended the deadline to 30 June 2014.

Robredo essentially argues that in the 2013 national elections, the original deadline was set to 30 June so it should also be extended to 30 June for the 2016 nation elections.

If Resolution 9873 were applicable today, then the deadline would have been 30 June 2017 and not 30 June 2016 as Robredo claims. That is, if Resolution 9873 is applicable, then she can forget about all her worries.

The problem, however, is that Resolution 9873 is already obsolete.

Comelec Resolution 9991

Rule 10, Section 2 of Comelec Resolution 9991 dated 16 December 2015 states:

When and how to file the SOCE and its supporting documents. - Not later than thirty (30) days after the day of election, or by 08 June 2016… The 08 June 2016 deadline shall be final and non-extendible. Submissions beyond this period shall not be accepted. COMELEC Resolutions Nos. 9849 and 9873, Minute Resolutions Nos. 13-0775 and 13-0823 are hereby repealed, insofar as they allowed the belated submission, amendment and/or correction of campaign finance disclosure statements and reports and the imposition of late penalties for the 2013 National and Local Elections.

The new Comelec Resolution 9991 clearly repeals previous Comelec Resolution Nos. 9849 and 9973.

Comelec Resolution 9476 does not preclude deadline extensions, but Comelec Resolution 9991 categorically states that the 08 June 2016 deadline for filing is NON-EXTENDIBLE.

Comelec spokesman Dan Jimenez also said on June 6, "The deadline is a non-extendible, period.[TV5]"

Comelec Commissioner Robert Lim also said, "Our deadline [for SOCE filing] is on June 8. And it is non-extendible. So, if you fail to file it by that date, it's considered not filed.[TV5]"

Lim heads the Comelec's Campaign Finance Office [GMA].
ThinkingPinoy gave Robredo the benefit the of the doubt by searching the Comelec Resolution database for subsequent resolutions relating to Comelec Resolution 9991. TP found the following:
No other subsequent resolutions amend Resolution 9991. That is, Rule 9991 is the most applicable resolution to Robredo’s case.

That is, Comelec will not accept LP’s SOCE because it’s already past 08 June 2016.

RA 7166 disqualifies VP-elect Leni

RA 7166, Section 14 [COMELEC] states:
“No person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has filed the statement of contributions and expenditures herein required… The same prohibition shall apply if the political party which nominated the winning candidate fails to file the statement required herein within the period prescribed by this Act.

That is, Leni needs two SOCES to be filed:
1. Her personal SOCE, which she filed on time [Star].
2. LP’s SOCE, as LP nominated her for VP, whose late filing will not be accepted.

The problem, however, is LP will be deemed a non-filer per Comelec Resolution 9991.

This bears repeating: per Comelec Resolution 9991 in conjunction with RA 7166, VP-elect Leni Robredo shall not enter upon the duties of her office.

The same rule applies to all LP-nominated politicians who won in the 2016 Elections. This includes LP-nominated Senators-elect Drilon, Pangilinan, Villanueva, Recto, and De Lima. This also includes all LP-nominated Congressmen, even if they’ve allied themselves with Duterte. This also includes all LP-nominated Governors, vice-governors, all the way down to municipal councilors.

Senator-elect Risa Hontiveros was nominated by Akbayan so she’s unaffected.

In one fell swoop, the Liberal Party itself managed to erase itself from political existence.

What will happen to the VP seat and the rest of the vacant positions?

Check "TP: No SOCE, No VP Leni, No LP Senators: Election Lawyer."(ThinkingPinoy)
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