Philippine Daily Inquirer

Duterte not recommendi­ng barangay polls postponeme­nt


DAVAO CITY— President Duterte on Thursday said he would not recommend another postponeme­nt of village and youth council elections on May 14, but warned that there would be more killings if candidates involved in illegal drugs were elected.

“I say let’s have an election,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech at a shooting competitio­n for policemen and soldiers here.

But he said the drug situation was “very alive and vicious” and involved village officials.

“So, if the barangay captains backed by drug money win, it would be another war, another killing,” he added.

The President’s statements seemed to coincide with the lack of action at the House of Representa­tives on four bills seeking to postpone the elections for a third time to either October this year or May 2019.

Rep. Sherwin Tunga, chair of the House suffrage and electoral reforms committee, said the bills had not been put on the House’s agenda.

Tunga added, though, that any move to postpone the May 14 elections should have the support of the Senate, which was a remote possibilit­y if the opinion of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III were to prevail.

Pimentel had said he was not inclined to support another postponeme­nt of the elections, which were originally scheduled on Oct. 31, 2016.

The barangay elections, originally scheduled for Oct. 31, 2016, was first moved to Oct. 23, 2017, and then to May 14, 2018.

As a result, the three-year terms of barangay officials who were elected in 2013 were effectivel­y extended as they were retained in a holdover capacity.—

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