Barangay elections likely to be done away with. Prove your non-involvement with drugs: Koko. Absence of drugs in your Barangay will be proof.

Barangay should be free of drugs.



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The war on illegal drugs has revealed the state of the internal mechanism of how the Filipinos think and function. It also brought to the fore the uncaring attitude of the Barangay (village) captains and all others who mattered.

This more or less proved that everyone who had a hold somewhere took advantage and flourished. With the advent of President Duterte, the party ended and the officials moved their operations underground.

A report to the President suggested that about 40 % Barangay Captains were involved in the trade of drugs. Experts pointed out that the figure was scaled down substantially to prevent a brutal backlash.

Hence, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III stated on Friday that the Barangay officials will have to prove that the report was not true. This is possible only through a cleanup of the system, he said.
Therefore, the onus of convincing the President lay on the Barangay Captains. Moreover, this may prompt the administration to refrain from replacing the current officials.

Hence, we need to establish the innocence of the whole system anew, Koko said.
Pimentel delivered the speech at the Strategic Consultation and Workshop on Federalism, Barangay Reform, and Role of Barangays in National Security Concerns.

The Senate President was addressing the meet organized by the Liga ng mga Barangay (LNB).

Consequently, the President decided to overhaul the system at the grassroots levels. Thus, the reported statement of Duterte in March spoke of suspending elections.

Since, narco-politics had a hold on the elections; he declared that the posts would remain vacant. Hence, the President forbade his administrative functionaries from conducting Barangay elections.

As such, the Senate President posed the challenge before the Barangay Chairpersons. They had to prove their non-involvement with drugs in a convincing manner.

They will have to satisfy the President about their innocence. Or, they should convince agencies like the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The presence of drugs should be conclusive evidence about involvement of officials in peddling of drugs. In case there is no improvement in the situation, we will postpone the October elections.

Furthermore, there will not be any talks of elections, Pimentel declared.

In addition, the Senate President invited LNB to submit a position paper on the constitutional validity of the Barangay elections.

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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Friday, July 14, 2017