All systems go for May 14 local elections

MANILA Preparations for the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections are now in full swing, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Secretary Eduardo M. AAo said Tuesday.

AAo welcomed MalacaAang's Monday pronouncement that the local elections would push through as scheduled.

Malacanang's pronouncement that the polls will proceed as scheduled should put to rest speculations that it will be postponed again. The DILG and the PNP (Philippine National Police) are now in the thick of preparations to ensure that the polls will be as peaceful and orderly as possible, AAo said in a statement.

The DILG chief, thus, warned the public against people seeking nominations for appointment as OIC-barangay captains, as a postponement of the elections could entail appointments.

In a press conference on Monday, Presidential Spokesman Secretary Harry Roque Jr. dismissed Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon's allegations that administration lawmakers are out to postpone the elections to railroad Charter change.

Roque said he finds Drilon's claims strange and speculative, considering that Senate President Aquilino Koko Pimentel himself assured an audience of 4,000 village officials in Leyte last Friday that the polls would go on as scheduled.

DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said both the DILG and the Commission on Elections are fully prepared for the forthcoming local elections.

"While there are two bills filed in the House calling for postponement, these bills have not yet been approved even at the committee level. In the Senate, no senator has filed a counterpart measure. With barely 12 session days before Congress goes into recess, there is practically no time to pass a law postponing the Barangay and SK polls for the third time," Malaya said.

He said with MalacaAang and the leaders of both houses of Congress seeing no reason to postpone the barangay polls, the public could be assured the elections are a go.

Source: Philippine News Agency