President Rodrigo Duterte is still opposed to holding barangay (village) e lections in October this year for fear that drug lords will finance the bids of incumbent chiefs and other candidates who are coddling them.
Secretary Martin Andanar, chief of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), however, told a Manila forum on Wednesday that the President will respect Congress postponing via a law the October 23 barangay and Sangguniang Barangay (Village Council) elections.
“The President suspects that current barangay leaders who are into the illegal drug business will be financed by drug lords to make sure the continuity of their business. He is for the postponement,” Andanar said.
“[Many villages] are drug-infested. As proof, in the Marawi raid, millions of pesos worth of shabu were discovered and even the former mayor was suspected to be involved in it,” he added, referring to the discovery by the military of shabu in an abandoned house in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, during a clearing operation.
Duterte has said terrorists like the Maute Group are involved in the illegal drug trade and that “narco” politicians are supporting them.