MANILA –- President Benigno Aquino III spoke to more than 4,000 village officials at a national convention on Friday but mum on fate of the village polls in October, leaving the participants "silent and uninspired."
“First, we were inspired, suddenly we were silent,” said Barangay Tablon chairman Romeo Bacarro, who was among the Cagayan de Oro delegates in Friday's Liga ng mga Barangays national convention at the SM Mall of Asia SMX Complex in Pasay City.
Association of Barangay Council (ABC) Cagayan de Oro president Aaron Neri said Aquino’s speech was not likely to end in pushing through the elections.
He said Aquino likely wanted to give that job to Congress, which is the lawmaking body. “Besides, his job is only to execute and not legislate.”
The President spent more than three minutes talking on stage and left. "It seems he just dropped by," a participant said.
For the first three hours, everyone was rejuvenated when Senator Miguel Zubiri strongly expressed his stand in the Senate to postpone the elections.
Zubiri authored Senate Bill No. 60, a bill which provides the postponement of the elections to 2012.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, who wasn’t around but represented by his staff, also stood for the extension of office of barangay officials.
In a statement read by his staff, Binay said the elections will not be realized, noting that the national budget for this year has nearly been depleted.
The Local Government Code provides that barangay elections shall be held every three or four years, unless otherwise provided by law.
The proposed postponement of the barangay elections was the first main agenda of the convention.
“This does not mean na duwag tayo sa eleksyon. Gamitin lang natin ang ibang pundo sa mas importante pa,” Liga ng mga Barangay president Ricojudge Echiverri told the delegates over the proposal, noting tight national budget for this year.
“Wala na ngang calamity fund si President Noynoy. Eh, yung para sa eleksyon nalang ang gagamitin,” Echiverri added. (Jaime A. Frias II)