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Senate OKs deferment of barangay, SK polls

By: Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola

The Senate approved on third and final reading its version of the bill postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections this year to May, 2018.

With a vote of 17-1, the Upper Chamber passed Senate bill No. 1584 seeking to defer the synchronized barangay and SK polls on October 23 to May, 2018 and allow incumbent officials in a holdover capacity. This reconciles with the House of Representatives’ approved measure on the elections postponement.

Of the senators present, only Senator Riza Hontiveros opposed the approval of the bill. Sen. Antonio Trillanes earlier said he would vote also “no” but left the Senate session before the third reading.

The voting came as the Senate received on Wednesday afternoon President Duterte’s certification of urgency on the passage of the measure. It approved on second reading the proposed law in the same afternoon.

The approved measure, however, would no longer authorize President Duterte to appoint officers-in-charge (OICs) if barangay officials were listed in his drug list. This is contrary to its original version which found the Duterte’s narco-list “sufficient” for his appointment of interim officials.

Other members of the Senate minority voted affirmative on the measure after the majority agreed to their amendment, according to Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.