Lawmakers divided on poll postponement

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A proposal was made to realign the budget for the holding of barangay (village) elections to the reconstruction of Marawi City if the local polls will be postponed until May 2018.

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Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, on Tuesday said he is not opposed to the move of the House of Representatives to postpone again the conduct of the village and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or Youth Council) elections scheduled for October 23.

“The Senate probably has to discuss this given the time element. I have no strong objections if the majority wishes to postpone the barangay elections until May next year,” he added.

Angara said the money for the holding of the local elections can also be used to fund the free tuition law.
The government needs over P25 billion to implement the free tertiary education law.

“I belong to the minority [bloc]in the Senate and my position is that the elections should push through,” said Sen. Francis Pangilinan, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms.

Upon the prodding of President Rodrigo Duterte, Congress postponed the barangay and SK elections last year to October 23 this year because of allegations that drug money will be used to fund the village polls.

The President pushed for the appointment of officers-in-charge at the village level in lieu of holding elections this year, supposedly to prevent drug money from being used to fund the campaign of some candidates allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

 

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