By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is not getting involved with proposals to cancel the 2019 midterm elections just to hasten the shift to federalism.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President has rejected the “no-election” scenario floated by some lawmakers when he asked Duterte about it.
“Ang exact salita ni Presidente, ‘I will not have any hand in that.’ At ito po ay matapos kong tanungin na may posibleng ’no-el’ [The President’s exact words were ‘I will not have any hand in that.’ This was after I asked him about the possible ‘no-el’],” Roque said in a radio interview.
“Ang mensahe po sa lahat ng kaalyado ni Presidente sa Kamara at sa mataas na kapulungan, talagang ayaw po ni Presidente na—at ipagpaliban ang eleksiyon para lamang sa Charter Change [The President’s message to allies in the House and the Senate is the President does not really want to postpone the elections just for Charter change],” he added
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier proposed the cancellation of the 2019 polls so lawmakers could supposedly work on the proposal to revise the Constitution, particularly the shift to a federal form of government. The Davao lawmaker said such poll cancellation would be practical to ease the planned transition to federalism.
Malacañang however said the 2019 midterm elections would push through as scheduled unless a new Constitution is ratified early.
Roque maintained that the President is duty-bound to implement the country’s law mandating the holding of elections every three years.