Will there be barangay elections in October?
The clock is ticking and we feel we are running out of time to prepare for the barangay elections this October. Congress must meet its responsibility and clarify at once whether the said elections will push through or not. Barangay elected officials and other political aspirants, not to mention the voting populace, are simply tired of waiting for Congress to decide which side it is on. This year’s barangay elections are scheduled on Oct. 23 after President Duterte signed a law that postponed the elections on Oct. 31, 2016.
There is the claim that 40 percent of barangay officials are involved in illegal drug activities and allegedly more or less 17,000 barangay chairmen of the 42,036 barangays nationwide are linked to drugs. Is this accurate? Where is the list? With this premise, it is suggested that choosing the barangay officials should be by appointment and not by election.
Article 10, Section 8, of the 1987 Philippine Constitution expressly provides: “The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms.” Simply put, Congress may extend the term of office of the barangay officials but not the manner of choosing them which is through election.
We call upon Congress to swiftly act now. Please tell our people if we will conduct barangay elections this year or not. Or, just an innocent question, does Congress distrust our people’s competence in choosing their barangay leaders such that we may again postpone the village polls? There is no denying our people have a say in who get elected as barangay officials and we trust their sound judgment on this matter.
REGINALD B. TAMAYO, Marikina City
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