Senator Dick Gordon was elated with the Senate’s decision to approve, on third and final reading, the bill that he sponsored proposing to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections from October this year to May 2018.
Gordon said with the issue on the postponement of the said elections already decided, the Senate can now concentrate on other bills and other pressing legislative business.
“As I said in my sponsorship speech, the immediate passage of the bill will allow us to concentrate on other bills right away. Sabi ko nga madami pang mga bagyong parating hindi lamang iyong mga national disasters tulad ng baha ngunit iyong political disasters, na pati iyong ating Chief Justice ngayon ay nililitis sa Lower House. So, kaliwa’t kanan, droga, budget, lahat ng klaseng issue dumadating sa atin. Kailangan po natin ng focus. And, in my life I have always said five F’s–focus, fast, friendly, flexible, forward looking,” the veteran legislator said.
The Senate on Wednesday approved on third and final reading a bill postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections from October to May next year.
Senate Bill 1584 was approved with 17 votes, one negative vote by Senator Risa Hontiveros and zero abstention. The bill was authored by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Gordon.
Barangay officials would be allowed to continue exercising their functions in a holdover capacity. The bill was approved without the provision that would allow the President to appoint barangay officials.
In his sponsorship speech, the seasoned lawmaker said the postponement of the barangay elections would give the police and military forces ample time to address the problem on drugs and to put an end to the Marawi siege.
He also pointed out that 49 percent of the barangays are drug-infested – which is enough reason to postpone the barangay elections so the police and the military forces could clean the barangays of the drug menace.
The senator from Olongapo and Zambales added that postponing the elections would give the military an opportunity so they could assure the conduct of clean, orderly and honest barangay elections since majority of the country’s police and military forces are currently assigned in Mindanao to fight terrorist and extremist groups.
Meanwhile, the Liga ng mga Barangay, through its national president lawyer Edmond Abesamis, expressed their gratitude to Gordon for removing the provision to allow the President to appoint barangay officials.