Village polls to push through in May – Sotto

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THE barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will push through in May this year despite the passage by the House of Representatives of a bill postponing the local polls to October 2018, Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd said on Wednesday.

Sotto explained that the Senate no longer has the time to deliberate on the issue.

“The barangay elections postponement (bill) is in the House of Representatives, and is already being transmitted this week, and therefore we only have one day left for the Senate session and that means we cannot conduct any hearings, we cannot debate on it,” he said at the Kapihan sa Adriatico forum.

“For lack of time and support by majority members, the proposed postponement of the May 14 barangay elections this year might not get the approval of the Senate. Because Congress will go on recess on March 23 and will resume on May 15 and the elections will be on May 14,” he added.


Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd earlier said the bill postponing the village polls “has no chance” of being passed.

He said it was “physically impossible” to tackle the proposal, unless it was certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Sotto said senators are not willing to do overtime work just to tackle the issue.

The senator also said the Senate will give priority to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) when Congress resumes session in May.

“The Senate will prioritize the proposed BBL, not the impeachment trial against (Chief Justice Maria Lourdes) Sereno,” he told reporters.“I really doubt that the impeachment would be our priority when we resume on May 15; perhaps the BBL would be prioritized.”

Sotto said the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, would probably start the trial in August.

The House of Representatives on Monday approved the six articles of impeachment against Sereno. RAADEE S. SAUSA

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