A post castigating LP and its minions for contending that the penalty for delayed submission of SOCE is a mere fine and not disqualification is making the rounds online.
Dr. Antonio Contreras of De La Salle University wrote a stinging rebuke against the Liberal Party of VP-elect Leni Robredo for twisting the law to wiggle out of a difficult bind that could result in the disqualification of the VP-elect.
Dr. Contreras reminds the Liberal Party to follow logical thinking in interpreting the law concerning SOCE.
Please refer to the full text of the letter below.
LOGIC PLEASE, LP.
LP, and its legal sub-alterns, are pointing out that the only penalty for non-submission of SOCE is a fine, and not disqualification. They propound that the prohibition of entering into the duties of the office for which a candidate is elected is removed once the SOCE is filed even if it is late.
They contend that it is only in the second offense when a candidate is perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
But pray, tell, isn’t this amounting to accusing our legislators the crime of being illogical, that the first offense can warrant a mere fine of some 30k, while the second offense radically jumps to the extreme penalty of perpetual disqualification from office.
I guess its about time to practice some logic here.
What is logical is to indeed interpret the law the way many reasonable people interpret it.
First time you fail to submit your SOCE on time, you get fined and you forfeit your seat if you win. But surely you can run again in the next elections.
And in the event that you fail again to submit your SOCE on time, you will be meted a much stiffer fine, and you will be perpetually barred from running for public office.
This is the only logical interpretation. For the only other explanation is to question the rationality and logic of the framers of the law.
It can be recalled that the dilemma of the administration’s political party stemmed from non-compliance of an election law that requires candidates and its nominating party to submit a Statement of Campaign Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).
As per Omnibus Election Code, Section 11 gives candidates up to 30 days after the elections to file their SOCEs, regardless of whether they won or lost. Candidates who fail to submit their SOCEs by Wednesday will be slapped with an administrative fine ranging from P10,000 to P30,000 depending on the position they ran for.
Based on the article posted by CNN, the Comelec and the Department of Interior and Local Government have an agreement to disallow winning candidates who did not file their SOCES from occupying their positions, whether local or national.
What are your thoughts on this?
Source: Dr. Antonio Contreras