Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned that there would be more killings of barangay (village) officials involved in drug trade if they were elected, according to The Manila Times Online report on Saturday (Mar 3).
In his speech delivered during the opening ceremony of the National Special Weapon and Tactics Challenge in Davao City on Thursday (Mar 1), Duterte said that the drug trade was still very active and vicious and those who were supported by drug money to win the elections, there would be another round of killings.
But he said he didn’t want to intervene in the holding of elections of the new barangay and youth council officials so as not to be misinterpreted by “bright” people that he aspired to become a dictator.
Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon has claimed that Duterte’s allies in the House of Representatives were preparing to postpone anew the village and youth council elections in an attempt to railroad the proposed constitutional amendments by pushing for a provision that would allow extended terms of office under a federal form of government.
Duterte had said he was considering declaring all barangay positions vacant and appoint honest officials following reports that 40 percent of them were involved in illegal drug trade.
The barangay elections, originally scheduled for October 31, 2016 were first postponed to October 23, 2017 and then to May 14, 2018. As a result, the three-year term of barangay officials who were elected in 2013 were effectively extended as they were retained in holdover capacity.