When he was asking us to vote for him as president, former Interior and Local Governments secretary Manuel Roxas II made much of the fact that he was the most “decent” among the candidates. Going around the country aboard government vehicles, sporting his yellow shirt and shaking the hands of those thankful to receive dole, Roxas extolled the straight path.
He lost, but that is not the end of his—and the Liberal Party’s—hypocrisy.
Roxas is the only presidential candidate who still has not submitted his Statement of Contributions and Expenditures. The law requires that all candidates and all political parties submit to the Commission on Elections their SOCE a month after the polls. The deadline was June 8.
Roxas and the Liberal Party failed to meet this deadline. They asked the Comelec for a 14-day extension, citing voluminous receipts that needed to be scanned and attached to the submission.
The LP itself finally managed to submit six days after the deadline, even as questions linger over how the form was filled out. But Roxas, the man President Aquino said was the best person to succeed him, still has to come up with his statement.
It could be that he is overwhelmed by a mountain of receipts that needs to be sorted and listed down, even as the idea is difficult to believe. With the party’s—and Roxas’ family’s—vast resources, could they not hire an army of clerks to go make sense of these voluminous documents?
Or it could be that the Roxas camp is at a loss in showing how it blurred the lines between campaign funds and taxpayers’ money. This is hardly an exercise in decency.
The Yellows have been so used to portraying themselves as righteous at all times—so what’s a few days of missed deadline when many others commit bigger breaches?
Now comes the Comelec en banc voting 4-3 granting the request for deadline extension. It is not just Roxas and the Liberal Party that are covered by the decision: Two other parties and 15 candidates for senator, 115 for House member, and 40 for governor were also given an additional 14 days from the original deadline to make good on their requirement.
The Comelec decided in favor of the delinquents despite the fact that its own campaign finance office had recommended that the LP’s request be denied, saying that the deadline for the filing is a hard deadline set by law, that the poll body had reiterated the final and non-extendible nature of the June 8 deadline through its own rules and press releases, and that all others tried their best to comply with the requirement.
It’s a good thing the extension applies only to the deadline for the SOCE. Imagine the horror of living one more day under an administration peopled by hypocrites.