- Pantaleon Alvarez suggested the idea of canceling the May 2019 poll to make sure lawmakers are available to deliberate on federalism
- Harry Roque said the election will proceed as scheduled
- Roque said the president would execute the election as stipulated in the Constitution
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told reporters that the May 2019 election would proceed as scheduled; rejecting the notion of ‘no election’ next year to give way for the smooth transition to a federal form of government.
GMA News quoted him saying, “Hanggang hindi po mababago ang petsa ng halalan na nakasaad sa ating Saligang Batas, ipatutupad po ‘yan ng Presidente, matutuloy po ang eleksyon ng 2019.”
[Until we can’t change the date of the election as stipulated in the Constitution, the president will execute it; the 2019 election will push through.]
He added the no-election scenario can only be possible if the proposed federal charter is ratified before May 2019 and the 1987 Constitution would then cease its legal effect.
To note, House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has earlier brought up the idea of canceling the election to make sure lawmakers would be able to deliberate on the proposed new Constitution.
He feared lawmakers would be busy with the campaign period in the coming months.
Liberal Party senator Francis Pangilinan, on the other hand, as per a Manila Standard story, said any talk of term extension or no-election leaves a bad taste in the mouth especially when prices of rice, and other basic food commodities are rising and the government has just increased taxes.
Pangilinan guaranteed that they would oppose any move to ignore the people’s right to choose their candidates in an election.
The current administration plans to synchronize the plebiscite with next year’s poll.