Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez today backed the stand of President Rodrigo Duterte on the need to postpone the elections of barangay officials in October this year.
Earlier, President Duterte warned that if the October barangay elections would push through many village officials with ties to the drug trade would likely get re-elected. Instead, the President said, he wants the polls postponed and fill the vacant positions by appointment.
“Well, wala akong problema diyan at suportado ko ang ating Pangulo diyan dahil napaka-valid po noong reason, dahil tama yun, majority of the barangay officials are involved in illegal drugs, nagagamit ito,” said Alvarez in a radio interview.
The Speaker believes the wish of the President can be implemented through amendment of the Local Government Code and would not violate the constitution.
“Kinakailangan po ng legislation diyan para magbigay ng kapangyarihan sa Comelec na huwag ituloy yung election,” Alvarez said.
According to the Speaker, the necessary amendment can be proposed and tackled when Congress resumes session this coming May 2.
“Kailangan matalakay na iyan,” said Alvarez.
President Duterte had admitted that his plan to appoint barangay officials to fill the vacant posts would be “quite messy” because incumbent barangay officials would likely oppose the move.
According to the President, the first requirement for a barangay officer-in-charge nominee is that they should not have any connections at all with rebels. Second, is that they are not into drugs, and lastly, they are not really leaders of politicians.
The President said he would accept nominations from the Catholic Church, from Islam leaders, religious denominations and other organizations.