MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) believes it is "high time" for the Supreme Court to finally have its own interpretation of Congress' power to move elections as the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls (BSKE) faced legal challenge.
"It’s high time na magkaroon po ng interpretasyon sa Saligang Batas — sadya bang may kapangyarihan ang Kongreso na mag-postpone ng eleksyon... Maganda po na merong interpretasyon sa probisyon na ‘yan," Comelec chairman George Erwin Garcia said in a press briefing Monday.
(It's high time for an interpretation of the constitution — does Congress really have the power to postpone elections? It is good for that provision to have an interpretation.)
Garcia was referring to veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal's petition before the SC challenging the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 11935 which postpones the barangay elections to 2023.
In a 27-page petition, Macalintal argued Congress cannot postpone barangay elections nor extend the term of village officials. It can only fix the term of office through a law.
"Magandang development po 'yung gagawin ni Atty. Macalintal if he will question to the Supreme Court the constitutionality of this law. From now on, kung sakaling magkakaroon ng definitive ruling po ang ating Korte Suprema, sa mga susunod pa na mga pangyayari kung magkaka-postpone o reset ang halalan, magiging basehan na po natin 'yung magiging case na ito," Garcia explained.
(It will be a good development if Atty. Macalintal would question before the Supreme Court he constitutionality of this law. From now on, if our Supreme Court were to give a definitive ruling, this case will be our basis if the elections are postponed or reset again.)
In a statement Tuesday, Garcia reiterated that Macalintal's move was a "welcome development."
"Perhaps it is high time for the high court really, with all due respect, to settle once and for all whether the power of Congress to extend the term of office of barangay and SK officials carries with it the power to likewise postpone an election," he said.
Comelec earlier said it is ready to hold the BSKE in December should the SC issue a status quo ante order in favor of Macalintal's petition.