“Ang proposal nga namin diyan, huwag nang ganyan, i-extend mo na lang (Our proposal is – there’s no other way to do it, just extend),” he said in an interview with dzMM, referring to the term of incumbent officials.
Pantaleon Alvarez/Released, File
Pantaleon Alvarez: Terms extended with ‘no-elections’
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - July 19, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Scrapping the 2019 midterm elections and keeping incumbent officials like him in position – at least until 2022 – can guarantee an uninterrupted push for federalism, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said yesterday.

“Ang proposal nga namin diyan, huwag nang ganyan, i-extend mo na lang (Our proposal is, there’s no other way to do it, just extend),” he said in an interview with dzMM, referring to the term of incumbent officials.

The Davao del Norte congressman said they would not want a repeat of the transition government in the post-Marcos era, during which then president Corazon Aquino replaced officials allied with the dictator and appointed new ones.

“Huwag na mag-appoint ng bago (Don’t appoint new ones),” Alvarez insisted, saying Congress has to focus on establishing federalism.

“You have to look at this objectively. If we really want to have it done, let’s do it right,” he said. Kasi kapag pinagpaliban mo iyan, matapos lang ang termino ni Presidente Duterte hindi na po magagawa iyan (If you defer it until the end of President Duterte’s term, then it can’t be done anymore),” he said.

A two-year transition period, he added, is too short considering that a massive information drive has to be launched to raise public awareness of federalism.

Based on the “target” he and allies have set, “the first election under a federal form of government will be in 2022.”

He stressed that a no-elections” scenario should be clear by October, or before the filing of certificates of candidacy.

Alvarez also brushed aside criticisms they were trying to cut short the process so they can proceed with the people’s initiative through a signature drive in anticipation of a Senate rejection of federalism.

“We have requirements for this: in every district, three percent… for the whole country 12 percent,” he said, adding that “verification” of signatures would also have to be made. It would also help if House members do the explaining about the benefits of federalism to their constituents, he said.

FEDERALISM NO ELECTIONS PANTALEON ALVAREZ
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