Namfrel opposes postponement of SK, barangay polls

By Ferdinand Patinio

August 21, 2017, 9:33 pm

MANILA -- The National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) on Monday said the October 23 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections should push through so as not to crowd out the preparations for the May 2019 polls.

"It would crowd out and make preparations tight. However, conducting the May 2019 mid-term elections would also be affected by the outcome of the planned and proposed May 2018 elections / referendum," said Eric Alvia, Namfrel Secretary General.

When asked if he supports the opinion of some Senators to conduct the village and youth polls this October, he said, "Agree."

Alvia noted that they will submit a position paper to the Senate/House of Representative on Namfrel's opposition to postpone the October polls to next year.

"Not amenable. Postponing the elections is tantamount to unduly extending their term in office. Also the mid-term elections may also be run simultaneously with a referendum on a charter change," he said.

At the same time, the Namfrel official reiterated their earlier statement that the elections should be held frequently to give the people the chance to choose their leaders. "...but as mentioned in the past, elections should be conducted frequently and same with regularity to provide citizens every opportunity to affirm the mandate and approval/disapproval for their leaders. This is also a means for citizens to participate in governance," Alvia added.

There are pending bills in the Senate and House of Representatives seeking to move the Barangay and SK elections from October 2018 to May 2020. (PNA)