MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he is in favor of postponing the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections scheduled on October 31.
Speaking to military personnel at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Eastern Mindanao Command in Panacan, Davao City, Duterte reasoned that drug money will be used in the elections, given that his war against drugs is still unfinished.
"Do you know the reason why I also agreed with some congressmen to postpone the barangay elections? Do you know why? Because I am afraid that the drug money will seep into the electoral process," Duterte said.
"You will just be adding to our headache," the President said. "Those that are funded by drug money will win, at kailangan mo na mag-martial law to eliminate all (and you would need to declare martial law to eliminate them all), which I will never do in the first place."
Duterte said there are at least 3 million drug addicts in the country, and only 700,000 drug users have surrendered to authorities.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has suggested that the barangay and SK polls be postponed 2017 to ''properly space'' the elections in the country.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista suggested to the Senate Committee on Local Government that the polls be held next year, instead of the proposed elections in 2018 which he said would be too close to the 2019 mid-term elections.
(READ: Comelec suggests moving barangay, SK polls to next year)
Last May, the then-President-elect nixed the idea of postponing the barangay and SK elections.
“I’m not in favor. The law says that when you end there, you end there,” he said.