BARELY two months prior to the scheduled election of barangay (village) officials, members of the House of Representatives have agreed to postpone the barangay elections for another seven months to May 2018, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Congressman Raneo Abu announced recently.
Abu said lawmakers reached a consensus during a caucus on Monday afternoon, August 7, 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.
Abu 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.
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.
Deputy Speaker Abu 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,” Abu ended.|TMA/#BALIKAS_News
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