House defers barangay polls; Senate won’t go along with plan
The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading the bill postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to Oct. 8, 2018 from May 14 this year.
The House leadership is expected to approve on third and final reading next week the substituted House Bill 7378 as Congress goes on a Lenten break beginning March 23.
In other developments:
• The Commission on Elections said Wednesday this year’s Youth Council elections will be the country’s first election exercise when the government enforces the provisions concerning political dynasties.
Comelec spokesman James Arthur Jimenez said the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act says SK candidates “must not be related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official or to any incumbent elected regional, provincial, city, municipal or barangay official in the locality where he or she seeks to be elected.”
He said the first degree of relationship refers to one’s parent and child, while the second degree of consanguinity (relationships by blood) or affinity (relationships by marriage) refers to the grandparent, grandchild and sibling.
• Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said Wednesday it is too late to defer this year’s barangay and SK elections.
Senator Nancy Binay, meanwhile, renewed her appeal to Malacañang to fill the three vacancies in the Comelec after the House of Representatives on Monday voted to postpone the coming elections and move them to October.
“We reiterate our appeal to Malacañang to appoint three more commissioners to the Comelec to ensure smooth preparations for the May 14 barangay polls,” Binay said.
The approval came despite stiff opposition from opposition lawmakers led by Rep. Lito Atienza. He said the people should be given the chance to exercise their right to vote and choose their leaders.