(Photo courtesy of Lente Facebook page)

MANILA – An election lawyers' group has launched an online petition calling for the non-postponement of the 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on Dec. 5 this year.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) urged the public to support the online signature campaign.

For those who would like to support the online petition, the public may visit, https://chng.it/sDK9JJnT

“We urge the local community chiefs and youth organizations to support our call to push through with the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections in December 2022,” the organization added.

The election watchdog group noted that the BSKE has been long overdue as it has been postponed thrice already since 2016.

“In light of the recent movement at the House of Representatives' 264-6-3 vote on its third and final reading of House Bill 4673, which will postpone the December 5, 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, LENTE reiterates its position to continue its conduct as scheduled,” it said.

Lente also noted that Republic Act 11462 mandated that synchronized Barangay and SK elections should be held every first Monday of December and every three years.

“But in the past, BSKE are often delayed, and officials end up holding office for up to five years. This delay contravenes the standard of periodic elections as provided in Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Although the pandemic response should be a top priority, this endeavor should not have collided with the citizen’s basic right to elect Barangay and SK Leaders,” they added.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) earlier said it will continue its preparations for the polls in the absence of the law postponing it.

The poll body is set to start the printing of over 91 million ballots for the polls next week. (PNA)