Duterte makes fresh call for barangay poll postponement
ILO CITY – President Duterte wants the barangay elections postponed again.
In a speech before the first general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) at the Manila Hotel on Tuesday, the President said he did not want the barangay elections held this year due to the purported influence of drug money in the elections.
“Since six or seven years ago, we were already a narco-politics state,” the President told around 1,300 municipal mayors in his speech aired by government network PTV-4.
“When can we expect to have clean elections, free of the corrupting influence of the money from drugs? This year? I told Senate President (Aquilino Pimentel III) and (House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez) to tell legislators that if we hold the barangay elections now…patay (we’re dead),” the President said.
“In the next elections, they will be already in position,” Mr. Duterte said alluding to barangay officials backed by drug money.
The barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections were already postponed from Oct. 31, 2016 to Oct. 23 this year.
The President had also said last year that drug money may be used to fund the campaigns of some of the candidates.
In his speech that lasted for an hour and 15 minutes, the President again focused on the problem of illegal drugs.
About a third into his speech, he showed a thick file which was marked “Updated as of January 30…,” apparently on the drug situation in the country.
He even teased the mayors as he started turning the pages.
“Mukhang nakita ko ang pangalan niyo dito….Hindi dito, sa attendance (I may have seen your names here. Not this document… the attendance sheet),” he said in jest which drew applause and laughter that broke the silence in the room.
But the President said there were municipal mayors on the list although he did not mention any names.
He said there were 6,000 policemen involved in illegal drugs and about 40 percent of the villages in the country were drug-influenced.
For several seconds, the President did not speak as he vigorously flipped the pages of the file towards the mayors. Only the sound of the pages being turned was heard.
“That’s how thick it is,” the President said.
“That’s why I told Congress… Paano ba ‘yan (How’s that)? You want barangay elections? Who will win? Those who have money. Money generated from somebody else’s pocket? Meron, pero druga…(There will be money but coming from drugs),” the President said.
A mayor from Western Visayas who attended the meeting said many of the mayors welcomed the postponement of the barangay election because “there will be less expenses for us and we can appoint our people to the posts.” With Rachel Arnaiz
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