The social action arm of the Catholic Church in the Philippines supported a petition asking the country’s Supreme Court to nullify a law that mandated the postponement of the village and youth elections.
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national director of Caritas Philippines, said Church leaders remain opposed to the move to postpone the elections as it undermines the importance of the poll exercise.
“Postponing the barangay election for the third time since 2016 reflects how our national political leaders undermine the importance of barangay-level politics in the exercise of our democratic rights,” Bishop Bagaforo said in a CBCP News report.
The prelate made the statement as the Supreme Court tackles a petition questioning the constitutionality of delaying the village elections to October 2023.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday insisted that it is within the powers of Congress to postpone the elections as evident by the similar postponements in recent years.
Marcos earlier signed Republic Act No. 11935 that postpones the polls from December 5, 2022, to the last Monday of October next year.
This is already the second straight postponement of the barangay elections as it was originally set to be held in May 2020 but was moved to December 2022.
It may also be recalled that prior to the 2018 village polls, it was also postponed twice, with the original schedule in 2016 being moved to 2017, and again to 2018.