politics.com.ph

Iniwan sa ere ang Kongreso! Duterte nixes no-el

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By Xave Gregorio

President Rodrigo Duterte turned his back on Congressional allies who have been floating the possibility of postponing the 2019 elections to make way for amendments to the Constitution, reiterating his stand against a no elections scenario.

“He wants to push through with the elections in 2019 and has committed to give us the most honest and the most credible elections in 2019,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday (January 9) in a press briefing in Malacañang.

Duterte’s statement, delivered during a Cabinet briefing on Monday (January 8), came after several solons, including House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, said the 2019 elections should be postponed until 2022 to make way for a transition government which would aid the shift to federalism under a new Constitution.

However, Malacañang said there can only be no elections if Congress manages to pass constitutional amendments and put those for a vote in a plebiscite to be ratified before 2019.

“Unless the Constitution is actually ratified by the people and the President calling for the transitory provisions, the elections will push through,” Roque said.

Alvarez previously said convening Congress into a constituent assembly to amend the Charter is at the top of the legislative agenda for 2018 as he eyes a plebiscite in time for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in May.

Senate President Koko Pimentel said he is set to file a counterpart measure in the Upper House within the week.