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Inside story: LP senators reject appointment of barangay OICs

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Liberal Party (LP) senators on Wednesday said they stood ground against the idea allowing President Duterte to appoint barangay officials.

​The LP bloc has voted for the approval of​ ​bil​ p​ostponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections only after ​the inclusion of an ​amendment delet​ing​ the provision giving Duterte the power ​to ​appoint barangay officials.

It was Minority Leader Franklin Drilon who introduced and insisted in amending the said provision by citing Article X, Section 4 of the Constitution which only gives the President the power of general supervision and not general control over local governments.

Among the LP senators in the minority bloc, it was only Drilon who cast the “yes” vote when Senate Bill 1584, which postpones the Oct. 23 elections to May next year was placed for approval on the floor.

Senators Francis Pangilinan and Bam Aquino did not vote, the latter even insisted that he stood firmly against the appointment of barangay officials saying the right of the people to choose their village leaders should be respected.

Aquino, however, said that barangay and SK elections should finally push through next year.

For his part, Pangilinan said they have raised concern in being undemocratic the idea of allowing Duterte to appoint officers in charge (OICs) vice elected barangay officials.

“It will impede our democracy which calls for all citizens to duly elect their community leaders. We believe that following the Local Government Code provides for due process as mandated by our Constitution,” he said.