(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Monday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to revoke Republic Act 11935 or the law allowing the postponement of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSK) elections this year.
Under the law signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on October 10, the BSK that was originally set for December 5, 2022, is rescheduled to the last Monday of October 2023. It likewise allowed incumbent BSK officials to remain in office unless sooner removed or suspended.
Macalintal, in his petition before the SC, pointed out that while the Constitution gives Congress the power to determine or fix the term of office of barangay (village) officials, it does not allow Congress to defer the barangay elections or extend the term of office of barangay officials.
“This is so because the power to postpone elections is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) after it has determined that serious causes, as provided under Section 5 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC), warrant such postponement,” according to the veteran election lawyer.
Macalintal also said that “by enacting a law postponing scheduled barangay elections, Congress is in effect executing said provision of the OEC or has overstepped its constitutional boundaries and assumed a function that is reserved for Comelec.” –Tetch Torres-Tupas/Inquirer