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Freeman Region

If elections are postponed anew; No more hold-over term for barangay officials – Sueno

Gilbert P. Bayoran - The Freeman

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — If the barangay elections this year will be postponed again, there will be no more hold-over capacity for barangay officials, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mike Sueno said yesterday.

This was after President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his intention to postpone the barangay elections, which is scheduled on October this year, due to purported influence of drug money in the polls.

“All their terms will be terminated and all positions will be declared as vacant. ‘Yon ang thinking ng president,” Sueno said. The president will just appoint new barangay officials, he said.

In response to allegations that the declaration of vacant positions is an illegal move, Sueno replied: “Why they (congressmen) passed it in Congress last year, if it is illegal?“

The term of incumbent barangay officials actually ended last year, and it was only extended for one year, or up to October this year.

“What will prevent Congress from extending it for another year, because they (congressmen) already terminated it. They did it once, they can do it twice,” Sueno said. But he said the postponement of Sangguniang Kabataaan elections has never been mentioned.

“If we proceed with the barangay elections this October, baka yong manalo because of drug money,” said Sueno during a press conference after his speech at the 15 ASEAN Senior Officials Responsible for Information (SOMRI) held at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City yesterday.

He clarified the appointment of new barangay officials will be made in coordination of the local officials, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and non-government organizations, who are supporters of President Duterte.

Sueno denied that the appointment of new barangay officials form part of the strategy to strengthen Duterte’s political hold all over the country.

“It is towards the cleaning of barangays of leaders who are involved in drugs and are corrupt,” he declared. (FREEMAN)

ELECTIONS

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