Roque refutes Drilon, says barangay polls will push through

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, February 26, refuted the claim of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon that administration lawmakers want to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections again. 

Drilon earlier said administration lawmakers want to postpone the already rescheduled May 14 village and youth council polls to October this year. He said President Rodrigo Duterte's allies want the elections to coincide with a planned plebiscite for a new Constitution, a pet project of the Chief Executive.

Roque said he finds Drilon's comment "strange" because Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, in a forum on Friday, February 23, said "that the barangay elections will push through."

"While there is a pending bill in the House filed by Congressman Johnny Pimentel to suspend anew the barangay elections, Senator Pimentel declared before the audience of 4,000 that there was no support in the Senate for another postponement of the barangay elections. That means, as far as Congress is concerned, barangay elections will push through," Roque said.

Senate President Pimentel on Monday said he couldn't think of any reason why the barangay and SK elections should be postponed again.

"Dapat mabigat ang dahilan to postone elections," he said in an interview with reporters. (There should be a compelling reason to postpone elections.) 

The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections earlier urged Congress not to postpone the barangay and SK elections again. The barangay and SK polls had been postponed twice already.  

Only in war-ravaraged Marawi City will the barangay and SK polls not push through on May 14, as decided by the Commission on Elections. –