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Duterte signs law moving village polls

By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

President Duterte has signed Republic Act 10952 postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on October 23 to May 14 next year, Malacañang said yesterday.

It was the second time that the elections were postponed under the administration of President Duterte.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte confers the Order of Sikatuna Datu Rank to outgoing Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Kazuhide Ishikawa who paid a farewell call on the President in Malacañan Palace on October 3, 2017. Joining the awarding is Ishikawa's wife, Madame Yuko Ishikawa. ROLANDO MAILO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte confers the Order of Sikatuna Datu Rank to outgoing Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Kazuhide Ishikawa who paid a farewell call on the President in Malacañan Palace on October 3, 2017. Joining the awarding is Ishikawa’s wife, Madame Yuko Ishikawa. ROLANDO MAILO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The elections were supposed to be held on Oct. 31, 2016 but were postponed to this year.

The decision to postpone the polls was due to Duterte’s repeated claims that drug syndicates would take advantage of the elections. The President has also repeatedly claimed that 40 percent of all barangay captains are involved in illegal drugs.

Subsequent barangay and SK elections will be held on the second Monday of May 2020 “and every three years thereafter” under RA 10952.

The amount of P6,090,324,325.16 earmarked for this year’s elections was deemed as continuing appropriation and shall be used exclusively for the conduct of the barangay and SK registration and polls next year.

RA 10952 mandated that all incumbent barangay and SK officials will remain in office until their successors are duly elected or until an incumbent official is sooner “removed or suspended for cause.”

“Barangay officials who are ex-officio members of the Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Panlungsod, or Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as the case may be, shall continue to serve as such members in the Sanggunian concerned until the next barangay election,” it added.

Until their successors are duly elected, incumbent SK officials are prohibited from using their funds except for youth development and empowerment programs as provided for in the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015.

The law will take effect immediately after publication in the Official Gazette or in two newspapers of general circulation. The Commission on Elections was mandated to promulgate rules and regulations to implement RA 10952 within 15 days after taking effect.

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