Villarin slams call to postpone 2019 polls
The statement of consultative committee (Con-com) member retired Associate Justice Antonio Nachura of solons seeking poll postponement is “nothing new and only shows desperation for Charter change (Cha-cha) advocates,” an opposition lawmaker said on Tuesday.
Nachura, in an interview over ANC, earlier said some lawmakers are “inclined” to call for the postponement of 2019 elections to give way for a plebiscite to approve the new federal constitution being crafted by President Rodrigo Duterte’s Con-com.
“The statement of Con-com member retired Associate Justice Antonio Nachura of solons seeking poll postponement is nothing new and only shows desperation for charter change advocates,” Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said in a statement.
Nachura also reportedly said that if Congress approves their output by the end of the year, the plebiscite would be held around February 2019, which may be too close to the May 2019 mid-term polls.
Villarin also denounced the proposals of term extension and no-elections as the “twin evils of seeking power.”
“Term extension and no-elections are always used as caveats in any move for charter change. These are the twin evils of seeking power beyond what is allowed under the Constitution.
Surveys have shown that two-thirds of Filipinos soundly reject charter change and the Constitutional Commission should send to the archive its proposal for future reference and academic studies,” he said.
Meanwhile, Caloocan City 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice said any proposal to postpone the 2019 elections and extend their term of office is “obviously self-serving and immoral.”
“The Constitutional Commission must come up first with a draft and defend it in Congress. It’s overly assuming of the commission, to think that their proposal will be acceptable to both houses of congress and to the people if it will be put into a plebiscite,” Erice pointed out.
The lawmaker also warned that any disturbance of the election process could “lead to the degradation of our democracy and will affect our economy since it will increase the political risk factor in business and investments.”
For his part, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said changing the Constitution should be discussed and debated thoroughly instead of jumping right away to postponing 2019 elections.
“Threat, intimidation, rewards employed by proponents to gather support to the shift are clear manifestations that there are hidden agenda behind it,” he said. /muf
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