Senate rejects postponement of 2022 elections
September 28, 2020 10:05 PM
Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto rejected Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo's recommendation to defer the 2022 elections.
“The idea presents a number of controversial and unconstitutional issues.”
Last Friday, senators, congressmen, Commission on Elections (Comelec), and Malacañang rejected the recommendation of Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo to postpone the May 2022 elections. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic will hinder people from voting for fear of contracting the coronavirus.
Senate President Tito Sotto dismissed the recommendation as well, saying, “the idea presents a number of controversial and unconstitutional issues.”
The 1987 Philippine Constitution states the specific dates when a new president, vice president, congress, and senators will be elected. Amending the Constitution is the only way the upcoming 2022 elections could be postponed, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
"To name a few [issues], who will hold over their positions? If not, who will appoint their replacements? The tenure of elected government officials is fixed," said Sotto, pertaining to the unconstitutional complications posed by the recommendation of Rep Arroyo.
Sotto agreed with Sen. Panfilo Lacson when he said that any discussion on the recommendation would be irrelevant since the Constitution should remain intact to guide the Filipino people.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said that Senate will strongly oppose Arroyo’s proposal since the senators will not be swayed by any statement that supports even the notion of postponing the upcoming national election. Likewise, Senate President Tito Sotto expressed his agreement with Drilon.
Sen. Imee Marcos also disagreed with Arroyo and said that Filipinos should be able to proceed with the 2022 elections. She named a few countries that had already successfully conducted elections amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: Belarus, South Korea, Iceland, Singapore among others.