Poll postponement draws mixed views from leaders | SunStar

Poll postponement draws mixed views from leaders

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Poll postponement draws mixed views from leaders

Thursday, October 05, 2017

CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he is against the postponement of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and barangay elections because it will deprive the people of the chance to choose their leaders.

“Every time we postpone the election, we’re postponing democracy. I would like to remind the people the essence of democracy is the selection of the leaders by the people,” he said.

For his part, Association of Barangay Council (ABC) President Philip Zafra said he is glad that the president has signed the bill because they can now focus on their job.

Zafra, who also serves as an ex-officio member of the City Council, said the postponement will also serve as a challenge to them.

“This will be a challenge for us all to do more and to give more in service. There are many challenges ahead such as the worsening problem on drainage, garbage and dilapidated roads. This has to be addressed immediately,” he said.

Governors

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III and Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto were happy that President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the postponement of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

In an interview, Davide said he initially wanted that the Barangay and SK elections would proceed.

But with Duterte approving the postponement, Davide is glad that the issue is finally settled.

For his part, Chatto said he wasn’t surprised that Duterte again postponed the Barangay and SK elections.

He said it will give “breathing space” for their constituents following the national and local elections last year.

Chatto was in Cebu yesterday as plenary speaker for the Purok Talks organized by the Mega Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB).

Prayers

Meanwhile, representatives of the Archdiocese of Cebu emphasized the importance of prayer to avert any chaos that may be caused by political decisions and the significance of measures that promote democracy in the country.

“This is a political affair and, for me, we should just pray that there will be no chaos caused by their decisions,” said the chair of the Archdiocesan Commission on the Laity, Fe Barino, who emphasized the importance of faith and prayer in issues concerning the public. “People have different political ambitions and all that so we, in the church, should just pray that there will be no chaos—especially with the political issues.”

“I, personally, have no problem with the postponement of the elections as long as there really will be elections held when the time comes. The people who sit in power have to be there by election and not by appointment,” said Monsignor Ruben Labajo, who pointed out flaws if barangay leaders were appointed. “It is difficult if it is just one person who chooses because the voice of the people or the majority must be the one to declare who sits in those positions—especially the barangays, which are the basic units of our country. We are a democratic country so the barangay chairpersons must be chosen by the country.”

Current local officials ordered to remain in office as Republic Act No. 10952 declared the local elections to be set on May 2018. (JKV, RVC, TLN)

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on October 05, 2017.

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