By Leslie Ann Aquino
All the winning senators in the May 2019 midterm polls have already submitted their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures to the Commission on Elections except for former senator Lito Lapid.
As of Friday, June 14, senators-elect Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, Pia Cayetano, Bong Go, Bato Dela Rosa, Imee Marcos, and Sonny Angara already submitted their SOCEs to the Comelec Campaign Finance Office in Manila.
Based on the SOCE’s they submitted Go spent the most with P161,418,299.31 expenditures followed by Tolentino with 159,169,836.54; Poe with P156,433,463.80; Angara with P153,655,185.84; Villar with P135,529,061.09; Marcos with P132,146,754.55; Revilla with P121,952,358.93; Dela Rosa with P92,701,116.79; Pimentel with P79,595,818.30; Cayetano with P73,714,198.55 and Binay with P56,785,472.82.
Of the 11, Go also received the most contributions with P162,035,537.34; followed by Poe with P156,450,000; Angara with P153,341,072.41; Marcos P137,560,000; Revilla with P115,575,235.21; Tolentino with P112,900,000; Dela Rosa P92,604,861.86; Pimentel P79,525,000; Cayetano with P75,200,000 and Binay with P59,470,000.
Villar had “0” contributions as her expenditures came from personal funds.
Meanwhile, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said those with excess campaign contributions should declare it before the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“Under the rules, it has tax implications. There is a BIR rule on that matter,” he said in an interview.
He, however, said taxable incomes are already outside the control of the poll body regardless of the amount.
Under Comelec Resolution No. 9991 or the Omnibus Rules and Regulations Governing Campaign Finance and Disclosure, “any unexpended balance from any contribution to candidate or party, also known as excess contributions, shall be subject to income tax”.
BIR Regulation No. 7-2011 provides that excess campaign contributions shall be considered as subject to income tax and should, therefore, be included in the candidate’s taxable income as stated in his/her Income Tax Return filed for the said taxable year.
Under the law, all candidates and electoral parties, both winning and losing, are required to submit SOCE within 30 days after the elections which is June 13.
The Comelec said SOCE filed beyond the deadline shall not be accepted except those who won the elections.
Provided, however, the winning candidate shall submit SOCE within six months from the date of proclamation without prejudice to payment to an administrative penalty for late filing.
Failure to file SOCE, the Comelec said may result in the imposition of administrative sanctions against candidates and electoral parties.