Despite absence of Senate support, House votes on 3rd reading to postpone bgay, SK polls

March 19, 2018 - 5:13 PM
Plenary Hall of the House of Representatives in session. Photographed by Zony Esguerra, News5

(UPDATED – 5:20 P.M.) MANILA, Philippines – Voting 164-27, the House of Representatives on Monday approved the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to October 2018 from the original May 14, 2018 schedule.

Close to an hour after the voting, Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro corrected the vote from 211-29 to 164-27.

Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas explained that the correction was made after the second calling of the roll “in the interest of accuracy.”

The Senate, however, has yet to file a counterpart bill. Several senators have said that there may not be enough time to tackle the measure since Congress will go on break starting March 23 and will return on May 14.

Congress has postponed the village polls twice: from October 31, 2016 to October 23, 2017 through Republic Act 10923; and, from October 2017 to May 2018 through Republic Act 10952.

In voting against the bill, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman said the postponements “are mockery of the right of suffrage and subversive of the republican system.”

“I vote NO to a third postponement of the barangay and SK elections. Another postponement is inordinately offensive to the right of suffrage. It is not only grossly aggravating. It is also patent recidivism,” Lagman said.

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said the people should not be deprived of their right to choose their leaders in the barangay, a political unit recognized by the Constitution.