The decision on whether or not the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls will push through as scheduled will have to wait until August, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Wednesday.
“The barangay election issue [will] be decided in August at the Senate. I told the Speaker we want the House to act first on this,” Pimentel said in a text message to reporters, referring to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Congress will open its second regular session next month.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) had called on Congress to decide on the issue to avoid wasting money during the preparations for the conduct of polls.
A proposal filed at the House of Representatives wants the October 2017 barangay and SK polls deferred until 2020.
A bill filed by Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, meanwhile, seeks to postpone the barangay and SK elections from October this year to the same month in 2018.
The senator said the proposal was an “answer to the appeal of President [Rodrigo] Duterte.”
Duterte earlier alleged that 40 percent of barangay captains nationwide were involved in illegal drugs. He said he was considering appointing new barangay captains, instead of pushing through with the elections.
“In answer to the appeal of President Duterte, this measure postponing the October 2017 Barangay is being proposed. In this way, the investigation and validation for the possible link to illegal drugs of the 40 percent of the barangay captains nationwide shall not be hampered,” Sotto said in his resolution. — MDM, GMA News