top of page

BLIND SPOT: Rain Checks for the Barangay

I don’t get why they have postponed it, and still would want to postpone it. I’ve heard that the President wants the barangay elections delayed because he fears that drug money may be put into full gear once the barangay polls kick off. “Earlier, Mr. Duterte said he wanted to postpone the elections because he feared drug money may be used to fund the campaigns of some candidates. “ Call me an ignoramus in illegal drugs economy, but how’s that going to happen? Is that even a fair assumption that drug money will sweep through the nation’s barangays once your neighbors start to signify their intentions to run for chairman or councilor? However it has been surmised in a national broadsheet that “The postponement of the polls is expected to give the President a free hand in filling up vacancies in the government, as it would do away with the 45-day ban on the appointment of officials during an election period.” ( ) Now, that would make a little more sense than the drug money rationale. But on the other hand, if this is so, this would mean the President foresaw a need to fire and hire a considerable number of appointed government positions within a 45 day period around the time of October 2016. Wouldn’t that make a ship shake when officers keep on jumping and going aboard within a short period of time while it’s moving? Despite his foul mouth braggadocio, I certainly believe that the President is far smarter than that; which leaves me and probably many of you holding this paper scratching your dandruff-free heads, thinking what’s the deal; and something else has been up. Last October 2017, “President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act 10953 postponing the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to 2018.” ( ) Wow! The State really has to exhaust efforts on a republic act on postponing these elections. Last month two bills were filed in Congress for yet another postponement of the barangay elections, citing that the Comelec and other agencies need more time due to “the coordination costs and expenses of organizing the elections,” and that “The barangay and SK elections should be held in October, “on the same date as the plebiscite or referendum” on the proposed federal system of government. The Comelec should also be given “enough time” to prepare credible barangay and SK polls.” However, Comelec itself claims that “it is 100% ready to conduct the barangay and SK polls.” ( These guys seem to be making scapegoats of the Commission on Elections for not preparing for its duties and responsibilities for their own motives. Even Senate is scratching its head on the proposals for postponement as its President, Sen. Pimentel plainly says that he sees no reason at all for another postponement. ( These gentlemen have been making a play of a highly significant democratic exercise just like a posse of high school kids on summer break, would put off plans to go to the Caloco Beach in Tinambac, because some other friends are not coming, they don’t have cool clothes to wear or they’ll wait for less sunny weather for them not to get darker . Naka-Caloco. “Kulang na lang sabihon, dai na lang.” Nevertheless, “The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Commission on Elections announced Tuesday that the election period will run from April 14 to May 21. Filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) will be from April 14 to 20 while the campaign period will be from May 4 to 12.” ( “Seryoso na ‘ni, ha.” We could have gone on the reforms on the barangay government or the real requirements for the Sangguniang Kabataan; but the stands towards stalling no less than a democratic exercise is in itself mind-boggling. Unless there are other hidden agenda, what shows so far is the insistent intent to push for federalism through constitutional change through a plebiscite which also comes in the form of elections, which everyone knows has long been on President Duterte’s to-do list, which has not seemed to get a good kick-off since he has taken his seat in Malacañang. This practice exposes the disrespect for constitutionally and legally set schedules and exercises to prioritize the promotion of a propaganda or ideology, which may have its merits in itself; but extensive efforts on extension raises questions on the core values and guiding principles of the administration. It has given away a defiance of conventions and regulations just to shove its own schemes. Oh well, as if that’s new. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” Philippians 2:3

bottom of page