Rep. Rene Relampagos has asserted that all incumbent barangay officials do remain because the law postponing their election allows them to stay in holdover capacity until the next pollsa year from now.
The barangay—and SangguniangKabataan (SK)—elections will supposedly be done tomorrow, October 31, had it not been for the new law moving the polls to the same month next year.
Also, Relampagos busted a widespread falsehood that the provision of the law which specifically grants the holdover capacity was itself allegedly vetoed by the president.
The said section was not vetoed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte when he signed into law Republic Act (RA) 10923 on October 15, 2016, the First District solon said.
The updated official website of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) proves Relampagos’ statements to be true and valid.
RA 10923 is known as “An Act Postponing the October 2016 Barangay and SK Elections, Amending for the Purpose RA 9164, as Amended by RA 9340 and RA 10656, Prescribing Additional Rules Governing the Conduct of Barangay and SK Elections and for Other Purposes.”
Section 3 of the law provides for the “holdover,” stating, “Until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified, all incumbent barangay officials shall remain in office, unless sooner removed or suspended for a cause.”
The lawmoves to and sets the barangay and SK elections on the fourth Monday of October next year or October 23, 2017.
Relampagos clarified the status of the incumbent elective barangay officials also during the Maribojoc leg of the province’sInSPIRED HEAT IT Caravan led by Gov. Edgar Chatto on Tuesday.
He reiterated it at the joint meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and Provincial Anti-Drug-Abuse Council (PADAC), which are both chaired by the governor.
The joint meeting was likewise held in Maribojoc, a town in Relampagos’ district, during the caravan.
Unscrupulous people either in group or individually were earlier reported moving around the province, soliciting nominations and nominees to be appointed as OIC barangay chairmen/captains.
Vice Gov. DionisioBalite was dragged to the questionable and suspicious activities, but he denied any involvement in them.
The vice governor is the new provincial chairman of the president’s party, PDP, to which he jumped in the last election.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Ismael Sueno had warned against the “scam” nationwide, which even involvedsoliciting money in exchange for supposed OIC designation.
Before Congress passed the law postponing the barangay and SK elections, the “super majority coalition” in the Lower House or House of Representatives had a caucus to “avoid chaos in the barangays across the country.”
Led by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the coalition unanimously batted for the incumbent barangay officials to stay in holdover capacity and this was further approved in the plenary, Relampagos said.
An administration congressman from Mindanao wanted the president to appoint OIC barangay officials nationwide, but the lawmaker’s move was junked by the “majority within the majority coalition.”
The super majority coalition has congressmen from the ruling PDP, NPC, NP, LDP, Lakas, NUP, LP and party-list groups.
The Senate, which is the Upper House of Congress, echoed in its version the Lower House sentiment on the holdover provision until theunified bicameral measure was passed and, ultimately, signed into law.
Asenior member of the House, Relampagossaid that it is not true that the holdover section was vetoed, explaining further that the president can only veto an item in a budget or appropriation measure.
He said the law postponing the barangay and SK elections without removing the incumbent officials intends to sustain the peace and development efforts of the yet infant Duterte administration.
Besides, the law is clear about the removal or suspension of a barangay official if a cause so warrants.
Ordinary citizens would like to understand that one cause to kick a barangay official out is illegal drug involvement. (VenreboArigo)