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‘No-el’ scenario possible if new Constitution ratified early – Palace

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A “no-el” or no election scenario ​raised by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez next year is possible but only if the new federal constitution is already in place, Malacanang on Thursday said.

“The only possibility (that that would happen) eh kung ma-ratify ng mas maaga itong proposed new constitution, in which case the ’87 Constitution would cease to have a legal effect,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Pero habang wala pa pong bagong Saligang batas, sisiguraduhin po ng Presidente na magkaka-eleksiyon,” he said.

“Hanggang hindi po mababago ang petsa ng halalan na nakasaad sa ating Saligang Batas, ipapatupad po ‘yan ng Presidente. Matutuloy po ang eleksiyon ng 2019,” Roque further said.

Alvarez​ earlier broached the idea of cancelling the 2019 elections saying it’s the practical move to ensure deliberation in Congress of the proposed Charter change (Cha-cha) and pave for the transition of the federal form of government.

President Duterte recently said he would want elections for the transition president to take place next year, if possible, to enable him to step down from office ahead of the expiration of his term in 2022.

Roque said Malaca​ñ​ang had nothing to do with Alvarez’ proposition.

“Gaya ng paulit-ulit na nating sinabi, ang Presidente po ang tagapagpatupad ng ating Saligang Batas,” he said, adding that the decision whether to proceed or cancel the poll exercise rests on the Executive branch.