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SHIFT TO FEDERALISM

Election watchdog says ‘no-el’ proposal despicable

/ 07:12 AM January 12, 2018

A poll watchdog on Thursday joined the growing opposition to a possible cancellation of next year’s midterm elections, slamming the proposal as “both despicable and unacceptable.”

Kontra Daya stressed that canceling the elections, an idea being floated by proponents of federalism, would deny Filipinos their right to suffrage.

“That the powers-that-be are even floating the idea of not holding elections in 2019 to facilitate the shift to a federal form of government is both despicable and unacceptable,” said University of the Philippines professor Danilo Arao, one of the organizers of Kontra Daya.

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Lifting term limits

Arao made the remarks amid growing opposition to the cancellation of next year’s midterm elections first raised by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Alvarez also raised the possibility of extending the terms of President Duterte and lawmakers should Congress succeed in introducing federalism through constitutional amendment.

Catholic bishops, including Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes and Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, as well as Democracy Watch Philippines were among those who slammed the proposal of Mr. Duterte’s allies.

For his part, Arao said canceling the 2019 midterm elections would be the “worst act of electoral fraud.”

He warned that aside from denying Filipinos their right to suffrage, cancellation of the elections would allow elective officials “to perpetuate their power and influence without spending millions of pesos during election season.”

“Allowing elected officials to hold office beyond their term is nothing but a sinister plot to continue consolidating power and influence as they render voiceless the people in whose name they claim to serve,” he added.

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TAGS: Danilo Arao, federalism, Kontra Daya, no elections, Philippine news updates
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