The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting is opposing another postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections set for December this year.
The poll watchdog in a statement said rescheduling the elections for the fourth time is already a “dangerous precedent”.
It “undermines” the barangay’s important role and significance in the dissemination of basic services to the people, the PPCRV said.
“Postponement of the election also deprives citizens of the right and critical need to replace those leaders who did not optimally and adequately exercise their voter-given mandate,” it said.
Also marginalized by the delay of the elections, according to them, are the youth that comprises over half of the voting population.
“The postponement of the SK polls stifles their right to participate as youth leaders and to vote for other youth leaders,” the PPCRV said.
Lawmakers have filed bills seeking to reschedule the barangay and SK polls, citing a number of reasons — from using the poll budget for pandemic response to allowing time for the nation to heal after the May 9 elections.
“But how can the deprivation of the democratic right to vote and choose leaders in the timeline mandated and scheduled by law become a means of healing?” the PPCRV added.
“The choice to fund the essential Covid program should not preclude a nation’s right to cast a vote for or against their community leaders in accordance with the mandated schedule,” it also said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) earlier said that the elections will push through as scheduled unless Congress passed a new law postponing it.