Congressmen open to postponing 2019 midterm elections

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2018 01:42 AM

MANILA - House minority lawmakers have floated the idea of postponing the May 2019 elections again, saying this may happen if the 1987 Constitution is amended.

The House is currently deliberating Resolution of Both Houses #15 that proposes constitutional revisions.

"It's not the main reason for doing the constitutional amendments but the postponement may be an offshoot of the process," Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves said.

Teves, however, said he doesn't know any marching order to postpone the coming midterm elections.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, on the other hand, said they are open to the postponement. 

"Possibility we fast-track charter change and instead of election of candidate. It will be a plebiscite in 2019. That's doable, that's possible, but difficult," he said.

Suarez also doesn't expect charter change to fly until the next Congress. 

“Frankly, I think that changing or amending the Constitution now will take a gargantuan effort for both House Congress and Senate," he said. "If there will be an appeal from the leadership to fast-track, the minority will support."

Suarez said in a press conference that his bloc is backing efforts to amend the charter. 

“The 1987 Constitution was written under circumstances that prevailed at a specific point in time. Three decades after, these circumstances no longer exist. The Constitution now faces issues regarding its relevance, responsiveness and applicability to current times, and future needs," he said.

He believes RBH 15 will placate the concerns of Senators who are opposed to the idea. RBH 15 leaves the Senate intact and as is. 

Suarez is a close ally of former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. 

Senate President Tito Sotto earlier said the upper chamber has no time to tackle the charter change measure. The Senate is set to go on a break on Oct. 13. 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, said the draft will be “dead on arrival” in the Senate. - report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News