In a statement, Macalintal said it may already be time to challenge before the Supreme Court (SC) the repeated postponement of the barangay and SK polls by Congress in recent years.
“While Congress has postponed several scheduled barangay polls in the past, said act was never challenged before the Supreme Court,” said Macalintal.
“Now that several lawmakers plan to postpone the December 5, 2022 barangay polls, which would be its fourth postponement, it is high time that this constitutional transgression committed by Congress be stopped,” he added.
Macalintal said legislators cannot extend the current terms of barangay officials by postponing the elections and having them stay on “holdover” capacity.
“It is unconstitutional because holdover positions are actually ‘legislative appointments,’ thus making holdover positions violative of the Constitution’s rule that barangay officials should be elected and not appointed,” he said.
On the other hand, Macalintal admitted that Congress has the power to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.
“SK is not created by the Constitution, and that SK officials are not barangay nor local elective officials,” he said.
As to the issue of needing to save funds by postponing the BSKE, Macalintal said only by canceling the village and youth polls will there be true savings for the government.
“We will just delay the billions of pesos already appropriated for the December 5, 2022 elections. In the end, we still have to spend the same or even more as the value of the Philippine Peso depreciates. We can only save money if we are permanently canceling the polls,” said Macalintal.
Leyte Fourth District Representative Richard Gomez earlier filed a bill that seeks to postpone the elections scheduled this December 5 to a later date.
Similarly, Senator Jinggoy Estrada filed a bill looking to move the next barangay and SK elections from December 5, 2022 to the first Monday of December 2023. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)