Pres. Duterte backs proposal to postpone barangay and SK elections

  • President Rodrigo Duterte is in favor of the proposal to postpone barangay and SK elections
  • He said he’s afraid that the drug money will seep into the electoral process
  • The barangay and SK elections is scheduled in October 31

MANILA, Philippines – Back in May, then-incoming President Rodrigo Duterte said that he’s not in favor of postponing the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections because it will leave officials acting in a holdover capacity. However, a few months after he made his statement, he changed his mind because he fears that the election might be infiltrated with drug money if it pushes through on October 31.

ABS-CBN News quoted him as saying during the 10th anniversary celebration of the Eastern Mindanao Command in Panacan, Davao City on Friday, August 26: “Do you know the reason why I also agreed with some congressmen to postpone the barangay elections? Do you know why? Because I am afraid that the drug money will seep into the electoral process.”

He said that those are funded by drug money will win and if this happens, he would just have a lot more on his plate in his war against drugs.

“You will just be adding to our headache. Those that are funded by drug money will win, at kailangan mo na mag-martial law (and you would need to declare martial law) to eliminate all, which I will never do in the first place,” he said.

In a previous interview on Thursday, August 25, Pres. Duterte also revealed that the Philippine government does not have the “billions” of money, which is needed to hold the barangay and SK elections this October.

Philippine Star quoted him as saying: “Better hold it at a later date. We would rather use (the money) for the establishment of drug rehabilitation and treatment centers.”

Although some expressed their support to the president, Commissioner Perci Cendaña of the National Youth Commission is deeply against the proposal to postpone the SK elections again.

In his column for Sun Star Baguio, Cendaña expressed that if the proposal will push through, it will just be disadvantageous to the youth sector because they would continue to have no representation in the government.

Part of his article read: ” The youth has been disenfranchised for three years now because of the absence of the SK.

There are currently 10 bills filed in the Senate and the House of Representatives seeking to postpone the barangay and SK elections to 2017 or 2018. For the barangay council, this means extending the term of current officials on hold over capacity. For young people, it means two more years without SK.

The proposed third postponement of the SK elections goes against the pursuit of genuine youth development which underscores young people’s participation and involvement. For the SK, the third time is definitely not the charm.”