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Saturday, September 23, 2017 28° Cloudy

A point against poll postponement

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The first time we cancelled the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October, 2016, it was largely because of “election fatigue.” The nation had just been through the presidential election of May, 2016, which elected President Duterte. It was felt that it would be best to postpone the Barangay and SK elections at least one year to October 23, 2017.

The year has passed but there is now a new move to postpone the elections anew. This time the reason, as stated by President Duterte, is that up to 40 percent of the nation’s barangay leaders today are involved in drugs. Drug money elected them and drug money may well reelect them. The President proposed that pending a new election, acting barangay chairmen be appointed.

Last Monday, the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms approved a motion to postpone the elections to May, 2018. The committee, however, did not go along with the proposal for appointment of acting barangay leaders. It opted, instead, for letting sitting officials remain in a holdover capacity.

The Constitution indeed includes barangay officials among “elective local officials,” thereby ruling out their appointment. But “holdover” officials are allowed and the House Committee on Suffrage thus proposed that sitting barangay and SK officials hold on to their positions pending the election of new officials in May.

The House committee position now goes to the plenary session of the House of Representatives. What the House finally approves will have to be reconciled with what the Senate approves. Any disagreement will be settled by a Conference Committee.

This early, however, it should be pointed out that the reason President Duterte called for postponement of elections was that many of the sitting officials won their positions because of their drug connections. If Congress approves the proposal for holdover barangay officials, that would mean drug-tainted officials remain in office for seven more months.

During the House committee deliberations, Rep. Antonio Tinio of the party-list Act Teachers said that if many barangay officials are indeed into drugs, they should be charged. Postponing the elections is not the answer, he said. He thus called for the holding of the elections as scheduled.

He has a point worth considering. With the ongoing vigorous anti-drugs campaign of the government and the great support the nation has shown for President Duterte, it is unlikely that any drug pusher or advocate among sitting barangay officials would win this October.

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  • da

    Election is not credible, a waste of much needed resources, it competes with more urgent and more worthy government undertakings priorities.

    First there is no credible election body to run it until now. Second, there is no pilipino politician, young or trapo who can handle and do anything about the state of our country.

    What need to is give an all out support the one who is fighting fires on so many fronts right now.

    Better dissolve congress, senate, judiciary. Declare a revolutionary government, rule by decree.

    One strongman is better than ten thousand thieving, self-serving officials and politicians causing chaos and paralysis of government systems, so much drain in the country’s resources, whose only products are more extortion laws everyday, bleeding the citizenry.

    And forget about the “so-called youth” – a wasted generation with loose morals, who badly needs strong discipline just like their confusing lying pretentious elders, who does not posses practical knowledge, but is rather an unfit spoiled generation, who are more demanding rather than able to lend a hand to the country – future thieves and traitors in the making like the parents. They “youth” are more like social media addicts, aids infected, weak, empty headed, do nothings, than anything useful.

    • isang lahi

      HOW on earth can you declare an election that is yet to happen not credible? Go back to your handlers and take more lessons. Prove you are not a paid troll. How? Read your post and deduce impartially.

  • Jaime Nuevas

    Let’s push through with the elections. Barangay residents are in a better position to choose the people they’d want to efficiently and effectively govern their communities.