Sotto tells ‘no-el’ proponents to explain such initiative
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Thursday said proponents pushing for the cancellation of the 2019 national elections should explain and convince the senators why is it necessary.
“That is the reason why perhaps I am not supportive of the proposal. Why is there a need? I think that is the question that needs to be answered,” Sotto said during the regular Kapihan sa Senado forum.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has floated the idea of no-el (no election) scenario for 2019 to give way for the deliberations on Charter change and the country’s shift to federalism.
Alvarez said the Congress must decide on no-el before the filing of certificate of candidacies in October, adding the constitutional provision requiring elections every three years can be amended through people’s initiative.
“Why do we need no-el? Please explain it to us, maybe you will convince majority of the senators to support it if you can explain it,” Sotto said.
The moves for a no-el scenario in 2019 did not seat well also with the other senators.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said majority of the senators, even those running for reelection will fight “tooth and nail any attempt to cancel the 2019 midterm elections.”
Senate Majority Leader Franklin Drilon said the opposition group in the upper chamber may go to the Supreme Court if Alvarez pushes through with his no-el proposal.
Sotto said the sense of the Senate was to oppose the postponement of the polls.
“I have yet to hear a member of the Senate who agrees to that particular people’s initiative or other forms of extending the terms of officials,” he said. /jpv
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