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Bautista reiterates call to postpone barangay, SK polls; suggests holding it along with ConCon

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, May 31 -- Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista reiterated Tuesday his call to postpone the forthcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, and suggested to hold it simultaneously with the selection of the delegates of the Constitutional Convention (ConCon) being proposed by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

"If we will also have an election to select ConCon members, and we have this barangay and SK elections, maybe it would be better if they will just be held together at the same time,” Bautista said in a radio interview.

Bautista explained that the proposal would be beneficial as it will be able save government funds.

"Holding elections is costly. For the Barangay and SK elections alone, it will cost us PHP3-4 billion to be able to hold it,” he said.

Bautista is pushing for the postponement of the local polls which is set in October over fears of “election fatigue” since the country just concluded the May national and local elections.

On the other hand, Duterte is eyeing for a ConCon in order to start his administration’s plan to shift to a federal system of government.

A constitutional convention is a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution with its delegates elected by popular vote.

However, the incoming President does not support the Comelec's bid to postpone the Oct. 31 elections, as he does not want to extend of the terms of incumbent barangay officials.

Likewise, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon is not in favor of rescheduling of the barangay elections.

“Elections is our job. We are not avoiding our work. The Barangay Elections law states it should be in October. So, unless Congress amends the law, the barangay elections should push through in October,” she added. (PNA)
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