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2月27日のまにら新聞から

Drilon's warning to railroad Cha-cha "speculative": Roque

[ 350 words|2018.2.27|英字 ]

Malacanang called on Monday as "speculative" the warning of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon administration allies in the House of Representatives would suspend again the holding of the barangay and youth elections to railroad Charter change.

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it would be up to both the Senate and the House of Representatives if they want to defer the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in May.

But based on his understanding from Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, there was no move from the senators to again suspend the said polls, he said.

"While there is a pending bill in the House filed by Congressman Johnny Pimentel ‘no, to suspend anew the barangay elections; Senator Pimentel declared before the audience of 4,000 that there was no support in the Senate for another postponement of the barangay elections ? that means, as far as Congress is concerned, barangay elections will push through," Roque said.

"So this will belie already the statement of Senator Drilon," he added.

Roque said he was surprised the supposed suspension of elections would come from a minority senator.

"Normally it’s a minority senator that will insist that elections will push through, but it was actually Senate President himself who informed the audience to prepare for barangay elections in May. So since the first allegation of Senator Drilon was false, I’d rather not comment on the other allegations of Senator Drilon, obviously because they are very speculative," Roque stressed.

Drilon has claimed the "supermajority" in the House of Representatives have been pushing for the suspension of the local polls "to give them time to railroad the proposed Charter change which would include provisions for a term extension."

He alleged that the president's allies have been seeking Constitutional amendment to extend their term of office by cancelling the May 2019 mid-term elections.

He noted that around 80 of the present membership of the House are on their last term, hence the supermajority is hatching plans to get rid of the elections and allow for an extension of their term of office through Charter Change. Celerina Monte/DMS