CEBU Gov. Hilario Davide III would have wanted the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to push through this October but nevertheless welcomed its postponement as long as there will be no appointments.
Last Monday, the House of Representatives in a caucus voted to move the barangay elections from October 2017 to May 2018 in response to the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to postpone the polls to prevent drug personalities from holding any barangay post.
Davide said he was more concerned about the earlier pronouncements of President Duterte to postpone the elections and appoint officers in charge for every barangay in the country.
“Para nako, it’s against the law gyud because the local government [code] is very specific that barangay officials should really be elected,” Davide said.
(For me, appointment of officials is really against the law because the local government code is very specific that barangay officials should be elected.)
Provincial election supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said moving the polls to May would be advantageous for the teachers who are still holding classes in October.
Castillano also cited issues on security as a factor for moving the elections.
“Almost 60 percent of our military is concentrated in Mindanao. There’s a possibility that Luzon and Visayas will lack security forces if the election will be held this October,” explained Castillano.
He said the government spends around P500 million solely for security and honorarium for teachers.
Castillano hoped that by May of next year, the dispute in Mindanao will already be resolved and the martial law status lifted as well.
Castillano asserted that the burden caused by election postponement mainly goes to the Comelec.
Comelec already printed the list of voters and was supposed to start printing the ballots on Tuesday but pushed back due to the en banc and house caucus.
“If the election will not push through this October, only the voter’s list will be wasted,” stated Castillano. /USJ-R Journalism Intern Rosalie O. Abatayo