Brillantes lauds deferment of SK polls
MANILA, Philippines–Commission on Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Tuesday lauded the decision of the congressional bicameral conference committee to postpone next month’s Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
Brillantes said the Comelec would now stop its preparations for the SK elections, adding that the postponement meant saving P100 million in taxpayers’ money.
“I will still have to look at the final version but, with the postponement, that’s okay already,” Brillantes said in an interview.
“At least, it was postponed. That’s already very good for us,” he added.
The bicameral conference committee yesterday morning decided to postpone the SK elections, with no hold-overs once the term of current SK members expire.
“This means we’ll have less work to do and (Congress) can now study whether the SK should be abolished later on or reformed,” Brillantes said.
“The Senate and the House are happy and so are we,” he added.
Comelec commissioner Lucenito Tagle earlier said the Comelec wanted the SK abolished because it had become the “breeding ground for political dynasties.”
“We don’t see anything of importance that has been produced by the SK. We have many cases here where parents are the ones intervening about vote-buying, irregularities (in SK elections),” Tagle said.
“Imagine at that age, that’s already the charge (they file) against each other. It shouldn’t be like that. They are being exposed to all of these things at the early stage,” he added.
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting also lamented that political dynasties had turned the youth councils into the training ground for their children.
PPCRV chair Henrietta de Villa said politicians have their children run and win SK elections in preparation for higher office.
“I’m really sad to see that SK is now an entry point for political dynasties. This is what political dynasties do now, De Villa said in an interview.
“They introduce their children in the SK and use it as basis in going after higher positions when they are of age,” she added.
She said political dynasts were edging out other youth leaders who could serve as future leaders of their communities.
“That is not supposed to be. SK should be a practicing ground for authentic political leaders to emerge,” De Villa said.
“This is bad because it is like we are starting these young people, the future leaders of the land, in an already very anomalous way,” she added.