Trillanes: Admin has 'propensity' to delay 2022 elections

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2016 02:00 PM

Senator Antonio Trillanes on Wednesday said he believes the current administration could delay the 2022 national elections as was done with the barangay elections originally scheduled for October 2016.

In an interview with ANC's Headstart Wednesday, Trillanes said the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte "have been doing that with the proposed constitutional amendments to shift from unitary to federal form of government."

"It’s likely that the 2022 elections for president would not happen because they can easily insert a transitory provision there allowing the incumbent president to be transition president until 2028 or forever," Trillanes said.

Trillanes emphasized this would be possible because the same scenario was apparent in 1987, with the Constitution having provisions "that allowed President Cory Aquino to continue her presidency without being elected."

"I believe they have the propensity for such things," he said.

Duterte in August said he is in favor of postponing the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan, amid fears that drug money will be used in the elections.

Members of the two houses of congress also voiced their proposals on the postponement of the October polls, saying there are various compelling reasons for the postponement. 

But House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez would rather have the positions of the barangay kagawad and SK officials removed from the polls altogether.

Senator Leila De Lima meanwhile cited the proposed shift to a federalism and the anti-drugs campaign of the Duterte administration as reasons that would necessitate the poll postponement. Senator Joel Villanueva, for his part, said delaying the elections will give Comelec ample time to improve voter turn-out.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) subsequently scaled down its own preparations for this October's election once it became clear that Congress intends to reschedule the election and that the president also backs its position.