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18 senatorial bets file campaign expenses report to Comelec

MANILA – Eighteen senatorial bets in the May elections have submitted their respective statement of contributions and expenses (SOCE), a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official said Thursday.

Fifty party-list groups, and 3 national political parties also filed their SOCEs as of 11 a.m., the last day of filing, according to Comelec Campaign Finance Office Director Efraim Bag-id.

Winning candidates can still file their SOCEs within 6 months from their proclamation but they cannot assume office until they submit the documents, Bag-id said.

A fine of P10,000 shall be imposed on winning Senate and party-list groups who will belatedly file their SOCEs.

Filing a SOCE is required even if a candidate lost, the campaign was self-funded, no expenditures were incurred, the candidate did not pursue or continue the campaign, or the candidate withdrew his candidacy after the start campaign period, Bag-id.

The Comelec Finance Office can file cases against candidates who commit campaign financing violations, including receiving campaign contributions from prohibited sources such as government employees, military and other uniformed personnel, entities with contracts with the government, as well as foreigners and foreign corporations.