‘Barangay, SK polls postponement legal’


The postponement of the October barangay (village) and youth council elections to next year is legal and does not infringe on the electorate’s right to suffrage, a House leader said on Wednesday. House Suffrage and Electoral Reforms panel chairman Sherwin Tugna of Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list was reacting to election lawyer Romulo Macalintal who questioned the legality of the measure before the Supreme Court, claiming that the postponement is illegal as it also provides for the extension of term of incumbent officials. Tugna, a lawyer, noted that the 1987 Constitution grants Congress the power to legislate on the duration of the term of barangay officials. “The power to legislate on the duration on the term of barangay officials necessarily includes, by way of a result, the extension of the term of the incumbent barangay officials. The power of Congress to postpone the elections, and as a result extending the terms of the barangay officials, is delegated by the sovereign people who voted for members of Congress. This is under the Constitution,”
Tugna said. He argued that the postponement will be beneficial to the public because it lifts the 45-day ban on infrastructure projects that is crucial in mitigating floods, easing traffic jams and providing irrigation for agricultural lands. It will also allow the executive to fill up the government posts with competent people. President Rodrigo Duterte signed the bill on Tuesday.


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