By Leslie Ann Aquino
Although the House of Representatives already approved on third and final reading the bill postponing the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls to October, for the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the May 14 poll exercise is still a “go”.
“Without a law postponing it, the BSKE2018 must continue to be considered a ‘go’,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said in a statement.
He said this means that their preparations for the electoral exercise will still continue.
“The Comelec will continue with the work of preparing for polls,” said Jimenez.
But, he said the latest move of the House of Representatives undoubtedly brings us one step closer to a third postponement of the 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections.
Meanwhile, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting opposed the move to postpone the village and youth polls for the third time.
In a statement, PPCRV chairperson Rene Sarmiento said they are opposed to the proposal as this is not good for the country.
“The renewed congressional initiative after two postponements is fast becoming a habit and is not good for our country that proclaims itself as ‘democratic and republican’,” he said.
And one important condition of a healthy democratic and republic system, Sarmiento said, is periodic and regular elections.
“Periodic and regular elections ensure that the people’s chosen representatives, the people’s agents, will remain answerable and accountable to their principals. Absent the possibility of replacement, because of poor performance and broken promises, these political agents will pursue their personal concerns and agenda and ignore their covenant of service with the people,” he said.
Sarmiento added that the Filipino voters are also growing impatient and restless because of the repeated postponement of the village polls.
“Their legitimate clamor for the holding of the May 14,2018 barangay elections is becoming loud and clear,” he said.
The barangay and youth polls were originally scheduled on October 31, 2016, before the polls were postponed to October 23, 2017 and then to May 14, 2018.