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Recto on proposed village polls postponement: Everyone ready except for some solons.

'It is too late to pull the plug at this stage.'

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto stressed this point Wednesday saying everyone-the Commission on Elections, the communities and the candidates-is ready for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls slated on May 14.

'Only some congressmen are not,' Recto said.

He added: 'It's all systems go for the Comelec, there are no security threats which warrant a cancellation, taxpayers' money has been spent and after both houses of Congress had made two solemn pledges in the past that the postponement law they had passed will be the last.'

On Monday, the House committee on suffrage voted 14-2 to approve proposals to postpone the village elections for the third time, citing concerns that drug-fueled candidates might win in the polls.

The village and youth council elections originally scheduled in October 2016 were canceled and rescheduled for October 2017. These were also postponed and then rescheduled for May this year.

Recto said that if the elections scheduled in May would be postponed anew, it is a 'strike three against grassroots democracy.'

'The power to hold office is founded on the principle that rulers must have the explicit mandate from the people and when it expires, must be renewed by the people through an election,' he said.

The Senate president pro tempore added: 'Postponing the election is term extension granted by a vote of Congress and not of the people.'

In a radio interview Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said that the proposed postponement of the village polls this year might not get the Senate nod.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Mar 14, 2018
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