Majority and minority House members agree that any postponement to the May 2022 national polls would create problems with the existing 1987 Constitution.
“Any deferment will violate the Constitution, which sets the elections for the second Monday of May. The nation has to elect its next President and Vice President. The top two leaders have a fixed term of office of six years, which cannot be extended,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said in a statement Friday.
At any rate, Rodriguez, a majority bloc stalwart, noted that the next elections are still more than one-and-a-half years away, giving authorities enough time to prepare for electoral exercise.
“If the virus is still around, the Comelec shall make preparations for effective and efficient methods for conducting elections observing social distancing and other precautionary measures for our people to vote safely,” added the chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments.
Assistant Deputy Minority Leader, ACT-Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, also said the elections should not be postponed.
“Hindi dapat ma-postpone ang 2022 elections dahil itinakda na ito ng ating Saligang Batas (The 2022 elections must not be postponed because it has been set by our Constitution),” she said.
“Ano ba yung mangyayari kung na-postpone itong 2022 elections? Nangangamba tayo na magkakaroon ng constitutional crisis…Kung hindi susundin yung ating Konstitusyon ay marami tayong mamamayan na mangangamba (What will happen if the 2022 elections get postponed? We fear that there would be a constitutional crisis…if the Constitution won’t get followed, it will worry many of our people),” Castro said.
Deferring the 2022 polls would require Charter change (Cha-cha) since a mere law can’t change what is indicated in the Constitution. Philippine lawmakers have long pursued Cha-Cha for varying political and economic reasons, but all attempts have so far been unsuccessful.