MANILA-- A lawmaker at the House of Representatives has filed a bill seeking to defer the October 2017 barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections until May 2020 in a bid stamp out the country's drug problem.
According to a statement on Monday, Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has filed House Bill 5359, calling for the postponement of both polls this year, supposedly to cleanse drug-infested villages.
"There is a need to postpone the 2017 Barangay Elections to rid barangays of officials linked to illegal drug operations. The barangay election was postponed last year for the very same reason, and obviously, we have yet to consider our communities drug-free," Barbers said.
The drug problem begins at the grassroots level, therefore, this is where we should start cleansing," he added.
Barbers said incumbent barangay officials must be terminated and allow President Rodrigo Duterte to appoint "incorruptible" officers-in-charge which could lead to a "drug-free Philippines".
"Incumbent officials stand to enjoy extended term but fail to address the drug problem that our President has been seeking to exterminate since Day 1," Barbers said.
"We have given them another year, but the question is, have they proven themselves worthy to be called 'leaders' of a country that is dying to be freed from the shackles of illegal drugs?," he added.
Under the bill, subsequent synchronized barangay and SK elections shall be held on the second Monday of May 2023 and every three years thereafter.
Source: Philippines News Agency