Palace leaves fate of barangay polls to Congress

MANILA � Whether the barangay elections will push through as scheduled on May 14 is now in the hands of Congress, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday.

Well, it's now up to the decision of Congress although the President has spoken yesterday Davao that he prefers to push the election, Roque said in a press briefing in Paniqui, Tarlac.

Roque said the executive branch will not interfere in the proposed bills seeking the postponement of the barangay polls to either October this year or May 2019.

Although there are pending bills in the House of Representatives, it is not sure if it will be postponed because Senate President (Aquilino Pimentel III) has said there's seem no support for further postponement, Roque explained.

In his speech in Davao City on Thursday, Duterte said he would not recommend another postponement of the barangay polls.

The President, however, warned of more killings if candidates using money from illegal drugs will get elected anew.

(But) remember that the drug situation is still very, very alive and vicious. So if the barangay captains backed up by drug money will win, there would be another killings, Duterte warned.

I would not say no election or we'll have election. But I will never, never until the end of my term, to the last day, allow a government official to use his power or position as a platform to engage in criminality, especially drug, he added.

Meanwhile, Roque denied reports that the country's ruling political party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), has started to appoint barangay officials in some areas of the country.

There were no appointed barangay officials. It would need a law. When I was still in Congress, I voted twice on two occasions for postponement of election but there was recommendation to appoint. So there is no such thing, he said.

Source: Philippine News Agency