Petition filed with SC vs BSKE reset

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal yesterday filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging the law postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections from December 2022 to October 2023.

Macalintal said Congress has no power to postpone the barangay elections and to extend the term of office of the barangay officials.

He said that although Congress was given the power to set the date of the elections for barangay officials, it cannot be extended or postponed to extend the term of barangay officials.

The petition of Macalintal does not include the SK elections because the said youth elections were made by Congress through a law and it’s not in the Constitution, so they can do whatever they want with it.

The elections lawyer said if Congress is empowered to postpone elections, it would remove the authority of the Commission on Elections under existing laws.

He said it is clear that Comelec has the sole power to postpone the elections based on reasons under Section 5 of the Omnibus Election Code.

The new law stated that all incumbent barangay and SK officials must serve until their successors are elected or they are earlier removed or suspended for cause.

The term of office of the elected barangay and SK officials begins at noon on 30 November 2023 and the next elections will be held after three years.

Macalintal said if Congress will make incumbent barangay officials holdovers, these officials are no longer elected but appointed by Congress.

He said the BSKE officials are already appointed because their term expired in December 2022 thus, if their terms are extended, the high court said the supposed holdover positions are considered legislative appointments.

Therefore, Macalintal said these officials will no longer be “representatives of the people” and will become “representatives of Congress.”

Macalintal said the matter is against the Constitution, because the Constitution states that barangay officials should be elected and not appointed and therefore Congress is doing indirectly what the Constitution prohibits them from doing directly.

The voters’ right to vote is disregarded if the barangay officials’ terms are extended, Macalintal said.

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