Vice President Leni Robredo said the coronavirus pandemic should not be an excuse to cancel the 2022 polls, saying many countries were able to successfully hold elections despite the health crisis.
In an interview with Radyo Katipunan’s “All Kaps! Ateneo Level Up!” program Friday, March 26, Robredo was asked about the possibility of postponing the upcoming May 2022 polls because of the threat of the pandemic.
According to Robredo, the 2022 elections can actually change the course in the fight against COVID-19.
“Dapat hindi gawing dahilan yung pandemic para hindi magkaroon ng eleksyon kasi yung eleksyon ang baka maging game-changer pa (We should not make the pandemic as an excuse to not hold an election because that may actually be the game-changer),” she said.
The Vice President said there were many countries that successfully held elections despite the pandemic including the United States, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Belarus, and Myanmar.
Talks about postponing the 2022 polls because of the pandemic first surfaced in September 2020 after Pampanga Second District Representative Mikey Arroyo asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to consider it because people were “scared” to go out to vote.
Malacañang thumbed down the proposal, saying the country still has enough time to prepare so people can safely exercise their right to vote.
“The holding of elections is a public service that the government must ensure to deliver. The idea to postpone the 2022 elections, if and when it happens, presents constitutional challenges,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.
“The 1987 Constitution is clear on the fixed date for the national elections, which is the second Monday of May. The National Election is still two years away and we still have sufficient time to prepare,” he added.
The Palace official left to Comelec if it would try a new method that will allow people to cast their votes through mail, a method used in the United States.