Cha-cha panel member says no reason to postpone 2019 polls

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2018 08:58 AM

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MANILA - A member of President Rodrigo Duterte's consultative committee on charter change sees no reason to postpone the 2019 midterm elections. 

Political science professor Edmund Tayao said the committee is done with the draft federal constitution which they will submit to the President for review before his state of the nation address.

"The time frame still allows the midterm elections. Unless of course there's a clear enough reason why we should not [proceed with the elections]," he told ANC.

The professor said the midterm polls in 2019 may also include a plebiscite for the new federal constitution if the schedule goes as planned, as Duterte's last three years will be a transitory period.

Retired Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Nachura, also a committee member, earlier said some lawmakers are "inclined" to call for the postponement of next year's polls for charter change.

But Tayao said lawmakers they consulted have told them that Congress can fast-track the budget deliberations so they can discuss the proposed new charter. 

The committee headed by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno is set to hold regional consultations about the draft federal constitution before submitting its recommendations to Duterte.