Cayetano: SK should be supported, reforms will help thwart corruption
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has insisted that the youth leaders should be supported and government may initiate reforms to prevent the sector to become a breeding ground for corruption, instead of totally abolishing the system.
In a statement on Monday after casting his vote for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE), Cayetano said that corruption usually emanates from older officials and not the youth, which means that it is the agency headed by older leaders that should be removed in that logic.
“Madalas nating sabihin na i-abolish na natin iyang SK dahil naging breeding ground of corruption. Eh sino ba ang nagtuturo sa kanila ng corruption? Hindi ba y’ung matatanda din? Bakit y’ung bata ang i-abolish? Baligtad!” Cayetano said.
(We usually say that we should abolish the SK because it is being turned into a breeding ground of corruption. But who teaches them corruption? Isn’t it the older people also? Why abolish the youth system? That’s twisted.)
“Ituloy natin ang SK, pero tulungan, tutukan, at suportahan natin sila. ‘Wag natin sila iwanan. Give advice to them, at pag-pray natin sila,” he added.
(Let us continue the SK, but we should help each other, we should focus and support them. Let us not abandon them: give advice to them and let us pray for them.)
According to Cayetano, former SK leaders should also help the eventual winners as they start their stint — and ensure that they can stay away from corrupt practices.
“Ito ang social media generation kaya iba rin ang takbo nila. I’m excited for them, but I always want to make sure there is accountability,” he said.
(This is the social media generation so they have a different set of principles.)
“Kung sino man sa atin ang may gift o talent na magmentor sa mga bata, tulungan natin itong bagong generation natin… Kung ano ang ating itanim this year, aanihin natin 20 years from now,” he added..
(Whoever has the gift or talent to mentor the youth, let us help this new generation. The seeds that we plant this year, we would earn this 20 years from now.)
Similarly, Cayetano also warned voters that how their community is managed is largely hinged on whom the people voted for.
“[Kung] sino man ang iboboto natin [na] kagawad o kapitan, kapag may disputes sa magkaka-barangay, sila ang mediator at reconciliator,” he said.
(Whoever we will vote for the barangay council member posts or for the barangay captain position, when there are disputes between neighbors, they are mediators and in charge of reconciling differences.)
“Ang pinaka-importanteng institusyon sa ating bansa ay ang pamilya kasi diyan [tayo] nagsisimula. Ang level naman ng pamilya sa ating community ay ‘yong barangay,” he added.
(The most important institution in the country is the family because that’s where we come from. The same government level, in our community, is the barangay.)
Barangay polls were held again — after over five years — when polling precincts opened at 7:00 a.m. earlier. Such polls were last held in May 2018, and was supposed to be held in December 2022 but President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed a law suspending the elections.
According to lawmakers who supported the bill, the suspension was aimed at saving money since the pandemic has affected the country’s finances.
However, the Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional, and directed that the next barangay elections be held on the first Monday of December 2025, and every three years thereafter.