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18 senators back postponement of SK, village polls

Eighteen senators have signed the committee report recommending the postponement of this year’s Sangguniang Kabataan and barangay elections.

The office of Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, chairperson of the Senate Local Government Committee, confirmed that 18 senators have signed the report that endorses a one-year deferment of the grassroots elections.

The senator’s communications director said Angara would sponsor the measure, a consolidation of all the bills filed on the postponement of the elections, on August 30.

Apart from Angara, other senators who filed a bill seeking the deferment of the polls are Leila M. de Lima, Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri, Joel Villanueva, and Loren B. Legarda.

The Commission on Elections, in a recent Senate hearing, called on Congress to swiftly decide whether or not to postpone the polls. Comelec chairman Andres Bautista suggested that lawmakers should arrive with a decision by September 1.

Senators have sought to reset the elections from October 31, 2016 to the last Monday of October 2018.

But after consultations with the Comelec, Department of Interior and Local Government, and various stakeholders, including the National Youth Commission, the committee agreed to a one-year suspension or until the last Monday of October 2017 to provide the poll body sufficient time and space to prepare for the May 2019 mid-term elections. (Hannah L. Torregoza)