MANILA - Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Tuesday denied that some allies of President Rodrigo Duterte are pushing for the postponement of May's village and youth council elections so they could cancel the 2019 midterm elections and extend their terms.
"Maraming parang mga bata na pilit nag-i-imagine tayo ng multo na wala naman. Gusto nating takutin ang sarili natin. Wala namang plano na ganiyan," Alvarez told DZMM.
(There are many childish individuals who are imagining non-existent ghosts. We want to scare ourselves when there is no plan like that.)
Alvarez also said he has started introducing to voters the possible bets of his party, the PDP-Laban, in next year's Senate race.
"Tumutulong na nga ako sa possible senatorial candidates ng administrasyon. Kailangan kasing ipakilala mo rin sila 'di ba?" he said.
(I am helping the possible senatorial candidates of the administration. You need to introduce them too, right?)
Opposition lawmaker Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice had claimed he learned about a plot to move the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to October or November, during which a plebiscite on a new Constitution would also be held.
The strategy would allegedly allow the cancellation of the May 2019 midterm elections under the transitory provisions of the new, federal Constitution and the extension of the terms of incumbent congressmen and local officials.
The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill postponing the barangay and SK Elections to the second Monday of October 2018.
A counterpart bill for deferring the polls, however, has yet to be filed at the Senate so it is "likely" that the polls would push through this May, admitted Alvarez.
"Malaki ang possibility na talagang tuloy na ito unless magbabago ang Senado at puwede nilang i-address," he said.
(There is a big possibility that the polls would push through unless the Senate changes track and addresses the bill.)