MANILA - Sen. Imee Marcos on Tuesday jokingly called out some of her fellow elective officials for allegedly "promising" barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) to postpone the elections set in December this year.
"Itong mga kandidato kasi na tumakbo sa nakaraang eleksyon, mga pasaway, kung ano-anong pinapangako sa mga barangay at SK. Joke lang! Pero narinig ko kayo, sa totoo lang," she said during the Senate Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation panel hearing.
MAY OR DECEMBER 2023?
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) during the hearing said May 2023 would be the "best time" to hold the barangay and SK elections in case Congress postpones the one set on Dec. 5 this year.
While the Comelec maintained that conducting the said elections as scheduled is the ideal in terms of saving government funds, it admitted that Congress has the final say on the matter.
Some lawmakers are proposing to hold the elections in either May or December next year.
Comelec chairman George Garcia said "as far as Comelec is concerned, ideally indeed May is the best month [to hold elections]."
"As between May and December, we would really prefer May... May is the ideal month to conduct an election in the event the Congress would deem it necessary to postpone the elections," Garcia told Marcos, the panel's chairperson.
Marcos, sister of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., earlier raised concerns about holding the elections in December, a typhoon season.
"Panahon ng bagyo ang December. Talagang hassle ang December para sa LGUs at sa Comelec offices. 'Di ba iniiwasan natin yung December kasi nga bagyo? Kakaunti ang turnout at napipinsala pa yung iba," she said.
Garcia agreed with Marcos.
"Sa summer, usually, wala tayong pasok. So nakakaboto yung kabataan. At the same time, when it comes to logistics, shipping and delivery of our supplies and documents, mas favorable po sa amin ang May," the Comelec chairman said.
But Marcos admitted that personally, she wants the elections to proceed this December.
"I will admit that in my personal opinion, we should not postpone, having made the promise to in the 18th Congress that this would be the last postponement," she said.
Garcia earlier said they are more than ready to hold the elections in December with their over P8 billion budget in hand, adding that postponement would cost government around P5 billion.
"Historically, every postponement cost a great deal of money, that's the truth," Marcos said.
Last week, a House panel voted to postpone the Dec. 5, 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections for a year.