PALACE ON NO-EL | 2019 polls to push through unless new charter is ratified

4 months ago

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (July 12, 2018) – Malacañang assured the public anew on Thursday that the midterm elections will push through in 2019, amid House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s proposal for a no election scenario to be able to focus on federalism shift.

In a press briefing earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there will be no postponement of election unless the new proposed charter will be ratified earlier.

“Hanggat hindi po nababago ang petsa ng halalan na nakasaad sa Saligang Batas, ipatutupad ng Presidente, matutuloy ang eleksyon sa 2019,” Roque said.

“Ang only possibility po ay kung ma-ratify nang mas maaga itong proposed new Constitution, in which case the 1987 Constitution will cease to have legal effect,” the secretary added.

Alvarez, a known ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, floated the idea to cancel the midterm elections in order to allow lawmakers to discuss the necessary changes in the charter.

However, Roque said only the executive can decide on whether the polls will be cancelled or not.

Malacañang, meanwhile, expressed optimism that the federal charter will be ratified despite the reservation of some senators.

Roque said the President is hoping that the consultative committee and Congress will adopt his suggestion, which calls for a transitory provision stating that the transition leader will be an elected post.

“We have a good working relationship with the senators,” Roque said.

Earlier, the Senate received a copy of the Federal Charter draft crafted by the committee led by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

 

 

Senate President Vicente Sotto III vowed to prioritize and resolve the issue on whether the upper chamber will adopt a constituent assembly or constitutional convention to deliberate

He also said they will also deliberate if there is a need to suspend the polls next year, to give way for the Congress to focus on charter change.