Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani on Thursday criticized President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to appoint barangay officials instead of holding local elections, calling the plan undemocratic.
“It cannot be done through appointment. That is not what is provided for by law," said Bacani in a Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website post. "The barangay elections are part of elementary democracy because this is where the people can start choosing their leaders."
“Elections were set in order to allow the people to choose, and not the president,” h added.
Duterte said earlier that he wanted to find a way to change barangay leaderships without resorting to an election.
“It’s a bit messy. Kasi kapag tinanggal mo rin ang mga gagong ito, magsigawan—we are looking for a way to appoint nalang the barangay captains,” the president had revealed in a news conference. “But ang mechanism to go about it—ako, you know the President has always the power to appoint. But I am going to compromise with the Church and everybody. They can nominate three citizens.”
Bacani said that if the Duterte administration would push through with this plan, the government would slowly turn into an "authoritarian."
“People are slowly being pushed towards authoritarian. Worse, the people are allowing it. Before you know it, our president will turn out to be a dictator in the end,” the bishop warned.
Last January, Duterte had accused Bacani of having two wives.
Bacani said the accusations against him were all lies. — Anna Felicia Bajo/DVM, GMA News