MALACAÑANG assured Thursday, July 12, that the 2019 mid-term elections would proceed as planned unless the draft federal charter is ratified before May.
"Matutuloy po ang eleksyon ng 2019," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a Palace press briefing.
(The 2019 elections will proceed.)
"Ang only possibility po [na ma-suspend ito ay] kung ma-ratify ng mas maaga itong proposed new Constitution, in which case the  Constitution would cease to have legal effect," he added.
(The only possibility that [it will be suspended is] if the proposed Constitution is ratified early, in which case the  Constitution would cease to have legal effect.)
On July 9, the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution turned over to President Rodrigo Duterte the final draft of the proposed federal charter.
A copy of the draft constitution was also turned over to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday, July 11.
Alvarez remarked that it would be "practical" not to hold the mid-term elections in May next year to ease the transition to a federal form of government.
Roque said the House leader gave his own opinion and stressed that President Rodrigo Duterte would implement the 1987 Constitution while the proposed new charter is not ratified yet.
"Gaya ng paulit-ulit nating sinasabi, ang Presidente po ay tagapagpatupad ng ating Saligang Batas," he said.
(Like what has been repeatedly said, the President is the chief implementor of the 1987 Constitution.)
"Hanggang hindi po mababago ang petsa ng halalan na nakasaad sa ating Saligang Batas, ipatutupad po yan ng Presidente. Matutuloy po ang eleksyon ng 2019," Roque added.
(As long as the date of the elections is not changed under our Constitution, it will be implemented by the President. The 2019 elections will proceed.) (SunStar Philippines)