Duterte will abide by Congress decision on postponement of youth, barangay polls

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will abide by the decision of Congress regarding the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, Malacanang said on Thursday.

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“I’m sure that he [Duterte] will comply with whatever Congress says,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said during a press conference on Thursday when asked about Congress’ plan to postpone this October’s barangay and youth elections to May 2018.

However, Abella added that there was no final directive yet from the President regarding Congress’ proposals.

“None from him [Duterte]. As far as we know,” the Palace official said.

Voting during a caucus on Monday, members of the House of Representatives agreed to postpone the 2017 barangay elections and synchronize it instead with the plebiscite for Charter change and the proposed Bangsamoro basic law.

Currently, the Senate version of the bill proposes to postpone this year’s village and youth polls to October 2018, while the House version, filed by Surigao del Norte Representative Robert “Ace” Barbers, wants to move them to May 2020. Both measures seek to replace the incumbents with appointed officials.

Duterte signed a law postponing the barangay elections from October 2016 to October 2017.

The President has long called for the postponement of the polls, citing the supposed threat of drug money influencing the elections.

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