DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/26 August) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he agrees with proposals to postpone the October 31 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, claiming money from illegal drugs “will seep into the electoral process.”
“You will just be adding to our headache, people na kung sinong manalo ngayon (whoever wins now) those that are funded by drug money will win at kailangan mo nang mag-martial law para (and you will need martial law) to eliminate all, which I will never do in the first place,” Duterte said.
The second reason he cited in favor of postponing the elections is money.
“You have to spend billions. Di itulong ko na lang yan sa mga rehab ” (That will help build rehab centers). I have to build a rehab center.”
Early Thursday morning, when asked about the proposed postponement of the elections, Duterte told reporters he was for it because “ako kasi walang pera. (I have no money). I will be saving millions.”
In jest, he said, “Tutal ang manalo ito rin yung mga ..sakay na lang natin yan sila ng barko, sabi ko nga, butasan na” (After all, those who will win are those.. let’s make them ride a ship with a hole).
Earlier, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez told reporters during the budget hearing of the Department of Agriculture that it would be more practical if the elections were postponed as President Duterte has yet to complete appointing officials in his government.
“If there is an election, the President is banned from issuing appointments. He cannot remove and replace officials,” the Philippine Star quoted Alvarez as saying.
It also reported that Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro and fellow deputy speakers Miro Quimbo and Raneo Abu want the elections to push through because the government has allotted a budget and the Commission on Elections is all set for the polls. “We should push through with it. These barangay chairmen should have fresh mandates,” Castro was quoted as saying. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)