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Sueno: poll plan not related to charter change

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno. KING RODRIGUEZ/PPD

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno. KING RODRIGUEZ/PPD

Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno on Monday dismissed suggestions that the administration plan to postpone barangay elections and appoint barangay officials instead was related to its campaign to revise the 1987 Constitution or to its preparations for the 2019 midterm elections.

Sueno said the plan to postpone the barangay elections scheduled for October had nothing to do with the administration’s campaign to change the country’s form of government from unitary to a federal republic.

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“No. No. This is not related to federalism and neither is it related to the 2019 elections,” he said in an interview.

He said the administration wanted to postpone the barangay elections because candidates supported by drug syndicates might win.

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He noted that the President had said that up to 40 percent of barangay officials were involved in drugs.

Asked about concerns that appointing barangay officials would make them beholden to the appointing power, Sueno said: “As I said we are still studying this.”

Sueno said he had talked to Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez so that Congress could enact a law amending the Local Government Code before the barangay elections.

“We have asked [them] … to also make a study. I have not talked to the President about this,” he said.

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TAGS: barangay elections, Charter change, Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, Philippine news updates
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