Speaker Alvarez backs postponement of barangay polls; urges Palace to certify measure as urgent

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez today said the House of Representatives supports the call of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte for the postponement of the barangay elections in October this year.

Suportado po namin yung Pangulo diyan dahil nga ang naging rason kung bakit ayaw niyang ituloy yung barangay election dahil hindi pa nalilinis totally yung mga barangay officials na kasama doon sa illegal drugs, Alvarez said in a radio interview.

Alvarez said that President Duterte is concerned that if the elections were held in October as originally scheduled, the candidates backed by money from drug lords would likely win.

He said it would help Congress act on the proposed measures for the postponement of the October elections if the President would certify the as urgent.

We will also ask the President to certify it as urgent, Alvarez said.

There are several bills currently pending in the House of Representatives seeking the postponement of the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls in October.

These bills can be tackled once the Second Regular Session of Congress starts following the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President on July 24.

If the October elections were postponed, Alvarez said it would be necessary to appoint officers-in-charge since the incumbent barangay officials are no longer entitled to remain in their respective positions in a holdover capacity.

Alvarez said the law that Congress will pass for the postponement of the October elections will also contain necessary provisions authorizing the appointment of OIC's, possibly through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

He said the OICs will remain in their position until the election of new set of barangay officials.

Alvarez said that aside from allowing the government to thwart the growing influence of drug lords over the barangays, postponing the October barangay and SK polls will save the government money.

Besides, Alvarez noted that while barangay officials are supposed to be non-partisan, the reality is that politics has greatly influenced barangay elections, as indicated in often-bitter election contests in the country's villages.

According to Alvarez, he and Senate President Aquilino Koko Pimentel III have discussed the issue and were in agreement on the necessity of the postponement of the October elections.

Mukhang wala naman pong problema, Alvarez said.

Meanwhile, Alvarez appealed to all those attending the second SONA of Pres. Duterte on Monday to dress up in simple business attire.

Instead of spending on expensive designer clothes, Alvarez said it would be better if SONA guests would dress simply and donate their savings to victims of Marawi conflict.

Yung mga imbitado sa SONA ay hindi po kailangan naka-gown tayo, business attire lang pupuwede na po, Alvarez said.

Source: House of Representatives

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