Rethink postponing barangay polls, Duterte told

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Rethink postponing barangay polls, Duterte told
Two senators are urging President Rodrigo Duterte to rethink his decision to postpone barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
Philstar.com / File
MANILA, Philippines —  Two senators on Thursday said that President Rodrigo Duterte should rethink postponing the barangay elections further, saying doing so would deprive voters the right to choose their leaders.
In a statement on Thursday, Sen. Francis Pangilinan said Duterte's inclination to postpone the elections is alarming. 
"To further postpone barangay elections and opt to instead appoint the barangay officials means to impinge on the people's right to vote and choose their leaders," Pangilinan said in a statement on Thursday.
Pangilinan said this after President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he wants to postpone the upcoming barangay elections due to "narco-politics."
"The local elections is just around the corner. Kung nandyan ito at they can influence the electorate, magkakaroon ng utang na loob itong mga officials, delikado, because, then, you have completed the division of this country into a narco-politics state," Duterte said.
The president said, however, that he is going to make a compromise with the church, saying that they can nominate anyone as long as the nominees are not connected to rebels, are not into drugs and are not leaders of politicians.
Sen. Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV said in a statement that it might be time to implement the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections after being postponed for so long.
"Sa barangay, matagal na rin ito. Matagal na rin siyang napopostpone. Palagay ko panahon na rin siyang matuloy," Aquino said.
Former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, the senator's cousin, signed into law a bill postponing the SK elections to October 2016 to coincide with the barangay elections.
President Duterte meanwhile, signed a law postponing both the SK and the barangay elections scheduled for October 2016.
Sen. Aquino said that a barangay election is important for the people to exercise their rights.
"It's important that people are given that choice. And, palagay ko naman ang taumbayan natin, may kakayahan na piliin kung sino ang mabuti at masama," Aquino said.
He added that he wants both the SK and barangay elections to "push through" and said that elected officials who might be involved in illegal activities may be removed from their posts and replace them with better candidates coming from the people's votes. -- Kristian Javier





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