House wants to postpone barangay polls to May | Inquirer News

House wants to postpone barangay polls to May

/ 03:35 PM August 07, 2017

elections FILE PHOTO

Members of the House of Representatives have agreed to postpone the barangay elections for another seven months to May 2018, Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said on Monday.

Fariñas said lawmakers reached a consensus during a Monday afternoon caucus to synchronize the barangay elections with the plebiscite for Charter change and the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.


If the said measures are not yet ready by May, he said the elections for the country’s smallest political units may just be pushed back again.


Fariñas said House members also agreed to retain the incumbent village officials in a holdover capacity—instead of an earlier proposal by dangerous drugs committee chair Rep. Robert Ace Barbers to empower President Rodrigo Duterte to appoint officers-in-charge.

Rep. Sherwin Tugna, who chairs the suffrage and electoral reforms committee, separately confirmed the decision reached by the House.

“That way, we will be hitting two birds with one stone, meaning, through BBL we can help achieve peace in Mindanao and by having the plebiscite of the BBL during May 2017 barangay elections, we will save public money,” Tugna said.

The barangay officials were elected in October 2013, but they remain in their positions after the October 2016 elections were postponed to October 2017.

The Commission on Elections had recently issued statements urging Congress to decide soon if the elections should be postponed to avoid wasting efforts in preparing for the October 2016 polls.

President Duterte first issued the call for Congress to postpone the elections again. At the time, he cited the alleged influence of drug money as a reason.


Tugna said House continues to keep the President’s justification in mind, and the postponement is precisely meant to prevent more narcopoliticians from taking over the barangays.

“We are still citing it… One of the purposes of postponement is to prevent narcopoliticians [from] using their money to support the election of those non-incumbent who are involved in drugs and the re-election of those who are involved in drugs,” Tugna told the Inquirer.

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TAGS: House of Representatives

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