Senate panels: Reset Oct. 2017 elections


THE Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation and the Senate Committee on Finance have proposed the postponement of the October 2017 barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or Youth Council) elections to the fourth Monday of October 2018.

The two panels submitted jointly on Monday Committee Report No. 163 recommending the approval of Senate Bill 1584 postponing the October 2017 barangay and SK elections, amending for the purpose Republic Act 9164, as amended by RA 9340, RA 10656 and RA 10656.

“Subsequent synchronized barangay and SK elections should be held on the second Monday of May 2020 and every 3 years thereafter,” Sen. Richard Gordon, vice chairman of the Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation, said.

Gordon is set to sponsor this week at the plenary the committee report.

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading the proposed postponement of the village and SK elections.

Gordon said until their successors have been duly elected or until President Rodrigo Duterte appoints officers-in-charge for the barangay, all incumbent village officials should remain in office “unless sooner removed or suspended for a cause.”

“In addition to the other causes under existing laws, inclusion of the name of an incumbent barangay official in the duly confirmed and validated drug list provided to and in possession of the President shall constitute sufficient cause for the appointment of officers-in-charge for the barangay,” Gordon said.

He added that village officials who are ex-officio members of the Sangguniang Bayan (Town Council),
Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) or Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council), should continue to serve as such members in the sanggunian concerned until the next village election.

“Given the events occurring, such as the armed conflict in Marawi City, the proclamation and extension of martial law in Mindanao and the prevalence of illegal drugs, it is hereby declared the policy of the State to postpone the October 2017 barangay and SK elections to October 2018 to provide ample time for the government to maintain peace and order and protect the general welfare of the people,” Gordon said.

Eleven out of the 19 combined members of the electoral reforms and finance committees signed Committee Report 163.

Seven of them expressed intention to interpellate Gordon and amend SB 1584. They were Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Francis Escudero, Panfilo Lacson, Grace Poe, Joel Villanueva and Cynthia Villar.


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