HOR COMPLEX, Quezon City (DWDD) – House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez expressed confidence there is enough time to pass a law to postpone the barangay elections and allow Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to fill in the vacancies before the first regular session of the 17th Congress ends in June.
Currently on break, Congress will resume its sessions on May 2 until June 2 this year.
Speaker Alvarez dismissed concerns Congress may not have enough time to pass the necessary law to amend the Local Government for the postponement of the barangay elections scheduled for October this year.
“Hindi po lalo na kapag na-certify as urgent ng ating Pangulo,” Alvarez said.
In fact, Alvarez said that even while Congress is in recess he has already directed his staff to prepare the draft of a bill for the purpose so that it can be immediately filed in the House of Representatives upon the resumption of session on May 2 and calendared for discussion.
Alvarez said Congress needs to pass the amendatory law to authorize the Commission on Elections to postpone the October barangay polls.
Earlier, Pres. Duterte warned that if the October barangay elections would push through many village officials with ties to the drug trade would likely get re-elected. Instead, the President said he wants the polls postponed and fill the vacant positions by appointment.
Alvarez reiterated his support for the position of Pres. Duterte.
“Valid naman po yung objective ng ating Pangulo,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez believes that the super-majority coalition in the House will support Pres. Duterte’s proposal, saying that so far he has not received any word expressing opposition against the idea from any member of the majority.
To ensure faster deliberation and approval of the proposal, Alvarez said he intends to talk to Department of Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, III.
Pres. Duterte had admitted that his plan to appoint barangay officials to fill the vacant posts would be “quite messy” because incumbent barangay officials would likely oppose the move.
According to the President, the first requirement for a barangay officer-in-charge nominee is that they should not have any connections at all with rebels. Second is that they are not into drugs, and lastly, they are not really leaders of politicians.
The President said he would accept nominations from the Catholic Church, from Islamic leaders, religious denominations and other organizations. CONGRESS . MCAG