“THE REASON propounded for moving the election date was to give village and youth council officials more time to implement their projects. While the reason has some validity, incumbent elected officials have to submit themselves to the people’s mandate through periodic elections.”
So contended Eric Jude Alvia, secretarygeneral of the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), against the postponement of the barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections (BSKE) to December 2022 which has been signed into law by President Duterte.
“If constituents are satisfied with their performance, (the officials) need not worry about their terms being cut and they can continue on implementing their respective programs or projects with a fresh and stronger mandate,” argues Alvia.
The election watchdog had long opposed any postponement to the BSKE primarily on three grounds: 1) it will contravene the principle of regularity in the conduct of an election; 2) it will extend the terms of elected officials without being elected anew; and 3) it will deprive the electorate of seeking accountability from elected officials through the ballot.
On top of these, Namfrel noted that election dates set by law can be justified only by the presence of certain conditions enumerated in the Philippine Omnibus Election Code, such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, and force majeure. And that it is the Commission on Elections that is mandated to make such determination through public hearings.
As none of the conditions specified in the Code existed, and public consultations were ever conducted, the postponement of the BSKE is not warranted.
Punto! Central Luzon fully agrees with Namfrel’s opposition. Firm as we are in our belief in the democratic essentials of free, honest, peaceful, and regular elections.
Even firmer in our subscription to that truism often (mis)attributed to Mark Twain:
Politicians are like diapers, they need to be changed often, and for the same reasons.