DILG chief defends Duterte plan to appoint barangay officials

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2017 09:08 PM

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief on Thursday defended President Duterte's plan to cancel barangay elections this year and instead appoint barangay officials. 

Duterte wants barangay elections canceled because 40 percent of barangay captains today are allegedly involved in drugs. 

There are around 42,000 barangays in the Philippines. Duterte believes that if elections were to be held, candidates with links to drugs would win.

DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno, in an interview on radio DZMM, said the names of the drug-tainted barangay officials are on Duterte's thick folder containing 7,000 to 8,000 names.

Sueno insisted that Duterte's list has been verified and validated.

Once Congress passes a law cancelling barangay polls that were rescheduled to October 2017, Sueno said they can begin looking for people who will be appointed as barangay officials.

He said that besides those connected to drugs, incumbent barangay officials who are uncooperative in the campaign against terrorists and rebels will not be appointed either.

He also said Duterte is not keen on appointing barangay officials who are connected to politicians. 

When asked who would vet the people who will be appointed, Sueno said: "Marami naman grupo na supportive kay presidente. Siguro doon tayo maghingi ng mga opinyon sa kanila." 

Senator Francis Pangilinan criticized Duterte's plan to scrap barangay polls, saying this impinges on the people's right to choose their leaders.