Let the 1987 Constitution be the ultimate guide.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson stressed this Friday as he shot down a suggestion to postpone the 2022 elections, especially if it is meant to extend the terms of elected officials whose terms end on June 30, 2022.
“Just so it is clear, canceling or postponing the election to pave the way for the extension of the terms of office of the President, Vice-President, 12 senators, district representatives as well as elected local government officials beyond June 30, 2022 is a clear violation of the Constitution,” Lacson said in a statement.
“Thus, any discussion or debate on this issue is an exercise in futility, if not a waste of time and energy,” he added.
On Thursday, ex-presidential son and Rep. Mikey Arroyo suggested that the Commission on Elections consider “postponing” the 2022 polls, supposedly as a last resort, due to the pandemic.
On the other hand, Lacson said some ideas being considered by the Commission on Elections – such as “extending” the election – could face constitutional challenges before the Supreme Court.
He said the Constitution provides that elections for the members of Congress and local positions except barangay officials occur every second Monday of every third year after May 1992, while presidential and vice presidential elections occur every second Monday of May every sixth year after May 1992.
Lacson added elected officials, except those at the barangay level, “start (and end) their terms of office on 30 June of the election year.”
Thus, he said the proposal of the Commission on Elections to extend the May 2022 elections a day or two before or after the dates specified under the Constitution “may face a constitutional challenge before the Supreme Court.”
Aside from this, he noted there are “valid issues and concerns involving the security of the ‘secrecy and sanctity of the ballot’ as also provided under the 1987 Constitution, as trending may occur if the ballots are not properly safeguarded.”
“At the end of the day, it is the Constitution that should guide all of us in this regard,” he said.