Wednesday, September 05, 2007 [ 8:23 AM ]


The House Committee on Suffrage approved on Monday the proposal to postpone the 2007 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on October 29. According to House Speaker Jose De Venecia, a new law should be passed to be able to postpone an election. The proposal he said, still needs to go to the plenary for the debate and then to the Senate, where if passed, will immediately be implemented after it is signed by the President.

De Venecia also said that many congressmen, governors, mayors and even senators and barangay officials themselves are in favor of the postponement. He even defended their position in saying that we just had an election in May and there is also an upcoming ARMM election so it would just be practical to postpone the elections to save government money.

If that’s the case then why not just postpone it until…2020? And why not just do it in all the upcoming elections, including the national elections in 2010? Following De Venecia’s logic, it would save us more money. But of course, that’s not what it should be. The Barangay elections should have been held in 2005 but was postponed because, if I remember it right, the Comelec said they didn’t have the funds and we just had an election in 2004. Our honorable congressmen decided that it should be held in October this year and now they are seeing a conflict again. Would De Venecia admit that their previous decision was wrong? Or would he admit that they just wanted to postpone the elections for their allies’ benefit without looking at what lies ahead for the country?

I thought that after the House failed with their attempt to change the constitution, they will finally stop doing nationwide self-serving moves. But of course that was a hope next to impossible. This is my simple theory about this: In Philippine politics, favor begets favor. So the support given by barangay leaders to the local and national candidates in the 2004 elections produced the postponement of the 2005 barangay elections. And now the support given by barangay officials last year seems to bring the same results.

The barangay elections have been long delayed and the people desires change. Three years extension is too much and another year would be the worst. Our congressmen should know how strict our 1987 constitution is when it comes to term limits and extension in office. They should also remember that only when there is an election ordinary citizens get their chance to say their satisfaction or dissatisfaction to their local leaders in terms of votes. So don’t deprive the people of what they want and what they need. Besides why does the Liga ng mga Barangay fear the election if they really did function well? If they argue about practicality again just like what they did before, well, the will of the people and the will of the constitution is always above any practicality there is.

FOR SK : Some of the Sanggunian Kabataan leaders are now eligible to run for a local position and they are not Kabataan anymore. If congress is talking about practicality, maybe they should abolish SK because it serves no purpose than a training ground for young trapo’s and a puppet government waiting for their budget and salaries.


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