The Commission on Elections (Comelec), under fire at the heels of the May 13 elections, may postpone the October 2013 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to late next year or early 2015.
According to Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., postponing the barangay and SK elections to a later date will give the poll body time to deal with the protests that may come following the recently concluded midterm elections.
"[By 2014], tapos na, nakapagpahinga na kami, naayos na 'yung mga problema. Tapos malayo pa 'yung preparation sa 2016 [elections]," said Brillantes in an interview Monday. "Ngayon, katatapos lang namin [sa 2013 elections], we expect protest cases."
The poll chief prefers the barangay and SK elections to be moved to October 2014 or to January 2015.
Postponing the elections, however, would mean amending the law that required the barangay and SK polls to be held on the last Monday of October. According to Republic Act No. 9164, synchronized barangay and SK elections shall be held "on the last Monday of October and every three years thereafter."
Brillantes said they would endorse bills in Congress seeking for such postponement. "Mayroon ng mga pending bills. Ie-endorse namin 'yun. At ako officially, I will endorse a postponement," he said.
In the Senate, Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla has filed Senate Bill 3242, which aims to synchronize the barangay and SK elections with the May 2016 national and local elections. Meanwhile, Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. filed bill Senate Bill 2377, which seeks to postpone the polls to October 2015.
Brillantes has expressed apprehension over moving the barangay and SK elections in October 2015, saying it would be too close to the 2016 elections, which would include the presidential race.
The country just had its second automated national and local elections last May 13. — Marc Jayson Cayabyab/KBK, GMA News