BOTH the House of Representatives and the Senate voted to postpone the barangay and Sangguanian Kabataan (SK) polls to May 2018.
The term of barangay officials, set to have expired on Oct. 21 last year, was extended after Congress postponed the barangay polls to Oct. 23 this year.
This means another extension of the term for barangay officials who have been bracing for another political fight. But did you hear any objection from these officials?
Cebu City north district Rep. Raul del Mar, who voted against the bill postponing the barangay and SK polls, said the postponement violates the will of the people, who voted the local officials on a fixed term.
“They elected them for a fixed term, until Oct. 21 last year. And we postponed it to October 23 this year. One postponement too many. To postpone it once again, for the second time, is two postponements too much,” he said.
This is how postponements become too much.
The election for barangay officials was postponed twice in the new administration because of suspicion that some 40 percent of them were allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
The postponement, del Mar said, would keep the errant barangay officials in office for another seven months.
If indeed some of them are into the illegal drug trade, they’ll have another seven months to build up their campaign kitty for the next elections. The police also have the same period to weed them out before the barangay polls.
Senate Bill No. 1584, approved by the Senate on a vote of 17-1 and zero abstention, postponed the barangay elections to May 2018 sans the provision allowing President Rody Duterte to appoint barangay officials.
Sitting barangay officials will get to keep their posts on a holdover capacity until the next election.
Weeding out barangays officials who are drug traders and coddlers have to wait for the next election. But do the voters really care? Do elections really show the true will of the people?
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 23, 2017.
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