Editorial: Preparing for the barangay polls-A A +A
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is currently acting like the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will go on as scheduled on the last Monday of October, or this coming Oct. 28. Incumbent barangay and SK officials and wannabe barangay politicians should therefore act the same way and prepare for the launching of their own candidacies.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, who had expressed his wish immediately after the May 13 national and local elections that the barangay and SK polls would be postponed, has formed a steering committee to prepare for the said exercise. The election body is even studying the possibility of pilot-testing barangay polls automation in certain areas.
Brillantes’s barangay-elections-will-proceed-as-scheduled attitude came after President Noynoy Aquino rebuffed his earlier proposal. The President has been consistent with his stand that the mandate of barangay officials should be secured regularly.
But while Comelec is acting like the barangay and SK elections will go on as scheduled, lawmakers favoring the postponement and the national Liga ng mga Barangay, which is lobbying for the rescheduling of the polls to 2016, still have time to convince the President to reconsider.
The various bills pushing for the postponement of the barangay and SK elections pending in the present Congress will have to be refilled in the next Congress, which takes over on June 30. But the arguments in support of the measures remain compelling, at least for the proponents.
The President himself, in reaction to Brillantes’s proposal for the rescheduling of the elections, has not really shut doors. “Unless I see very good reasons for postponement,” was how he prefaced his response.
But convincing the President is one thing and ensuring that the postponement would serve the general good and not the selfish interests of politicians and the incumbent barangay and SK officials is another.
Rescheduling an important political exercise needs to be well studied, which means that it should better be discussed at length by the next Congress. “At length” does not mean only a few months.
In the meantime, we can go ahead with the elections in October.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 18, 2013.