'Suntok sa buwan': Move to postpone 2022 polls a 'wild thought' - Monsod

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 25 2020 12:23 PM

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MANILA - Former Commission on Elections chief Christian Monsod on Friday rejected a Pampanga lawmaker's proposal to postpone the 2022 elections, saying the country is still functioning amid the pandemic.

"Suntok sa buwan 'yun kasi po we are functioning as a democracy. People are traveling. They are doing their functions kaya lang minimized pero it does not mean that we can postpone elections for that reason,” Monsod said in an interview on TeleRadyo.

"That is a wild thought by somebody who did not study the law or the Constitution.”

Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo on Thursday urged Comelec to consider postponing the 2022 national polls as voters are afraid of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 charter, cited Section 5 of the Omnibus Election Code on the postponement of election.

"Nakalagay na sa Election Code 'yung terrorism, destruction of paraphernalia, violence…such a nature that it's not possible to have a free, and orderly, and honest elections. Pandemic is not such a nature that you cannot have people going to the polls to vote. It's common sense," he said. 

He said that if the election is postponed, it does not mean that the term of the President is extended. When that happens, then what applies is Section 7 of the Constitution on the line of succession, he said.

“Automatic natatapos 'yung term ng Presidente. He cannot extend it himself most of all or anybody even Congress cannot extend him. He automatically has to step down on June 30, 2022," he said.

He said that even if both Houses of Congress agree to pass amendments to the Constitution, they still have to follow the provisions on revising the charter.

"'Yung manner of voting tapos kailangang may plebiscite. How can you do the plebiscite if they are saying ‘di pwedeng mag election pero pwedeng mag plebiscite. Nananginip sila kung ‘di loko-loko sila,” he said.

Meanwhile, Monsod said the proposal to conduct 2-day voting must be studied. Rather than holding elections for 2 days, Comelec should instead double the number of its precincts, he said. 

For Monsod, the elections must push through.

"There is no ground to postpone it. The pandemic certainly is not a ground to postpone," he said