Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel III, who strongly opposed the postponement of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) and voted against Republic Act 11935 rescheduling the elections to October 2023, welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision declaring the postponement of the elections as unconstitutional.
“This decision validated my earlier stand that there was no compelling reason to delay the barangay and SK elections,” said Pimentel as he emphasized “the importance of regular, periodic, fair, free, honest, and accurate elections as essential components of an inclusive and functioning democracy”.
In its decision, the Supreme Court concluded that Republic Act 11935 violated the freedom of suffrage, “as it failed to satisfy the requisites of the substantive aspect of the due process clause of the Constitution”.
The Supreme Court found that ‘there was no legitimate government interest or objective to support the legislative measure”.
“The postponement, without any compelling reason, undermined the constitutional rights of suffrage and weakens the foundation of our democratic institutions.”
In agreement with the Supreme Court, the former Senate President and 1990 bar topnotcher, said: “The postponement, without any compelling reason, undermined the constitutional rights of suffrage and weakens the foundation of our democratic institutions”.
The veteran legislator firmly believes that there was no compelling reason to disregard the law that had set the barangay and SK elections for December 2022.
“The Barangay and SK elections would have been a very good opportunity to conduct a referendum on the performance of the incumbent, especially in relation to their handling of the pandemic response,” the seasoned lawmaker explained.
The senator said with the Supreme Court’s ruling, a significant milestone has been achieved in safeguarding the democratic processes.
“The postponement deprived a whole generation of potentially-capable Filipino youth the chance to lead their sectors through the SK system.”
He lamented how the postponement deprived a whole generation of potentially-capable Filipino youth the chance to lead their sectors through the SK system.
“This ruling by the Supreme Court will effectively prevent the recurring practice of postponing the barangay and SK elections to the detriment of the Filipino people and our democratic processes,” Pimentel concluded.