By Junex Doronio
October 17, 2022
MANILA — Stressing that postponing the barangay elections is unconstitutional, veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Monday filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging the recently signed law postponing the barangay elections from December 2022 to October 2023.
Although he did not question the deferment of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, Macalintal maintained that the voters’ right to vote is disregarded if the barangay officials’ terms are extended.
“This is against the Constitution because the Constitution states that barangay officials should be elected and not appointed. So Congress is doing indirectly what the Constitution prohibits them from doing directly,” the veteran poll lawyer pointed out in his interview with Dobol B TV prior to the filing.
He hammered out that Congress has no power to postpone the barangay elections and to extend the term of office of the barangay officials.
However, Macalintal’s petition does not include the SK elections.
“Sapagkat ang SK elections ay ginawa lamang ‘yan ng Kongreso… sa isang batas. Wala sa Constitution natin ang SK. Kaya ano man ang gawin ng Kongreso, talagang wala tayong magagawa doon,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the socialist humanist Maharlika Solidarity (MASO) founded by a descendant of Lapu-Lapu on July 7, 2022, on Monday, October 17, lauded Macalintal’s move.
For his part, Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia considered Macalintal’s move as a “good development.”
The poll chief added that it is “high time” to get clarification from SC on Congress’ role to postpone elections under the Constitution. (ai/mtvn)