Manila: President Rodrigo Duterte, as well as Senators, allayed fears of possible postponement of the May 2019 elections saying that the government is compelled by the Constitution to conduct the midterm polls.
“Unless the date of election, as stated in the Constitution, has been changed, the President will implement the 2019 elections,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing
Senator Grace Poe, as well as Senator Francis Escudero, said that a proposal to cancel scheduled polls in 2019 will not be approved in the Senate
“The Constitution specifically states when we are going to have the elections and 2019 is certainly an election year. You can probably amend the Constitution but even if you do, you need the Senate vote,” Poe said.
Earlier, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez floated the possibility of a no-election scenario.
The Speaker was apparently banking on the palace’s push for changing the 1987 Constitution and the adoption of a federal form of government.
But Roque said the public need not be unnecessarily alarmed that the midterm elections — where voters will elect their next 12 senators, more than 300 congressmen and thousands of local officials from governors to mayors to city and provincial board members — would be deferred.
Nevertheless, Roque pointed out that the only chance that the 2019 midterm polls would be cancelled is when the new federal constitution is ratified ahead of it and this is nearly impossible, he said.