MANILA—Whether barangay (village) officials are involved in illegal drugs or not, Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said that the bottom line of having an election is democracy.
“The bottom line is democracy. This is the most basic political unit of our country so they should allow the people to choose their officials,” Lacson told reporters in an interview.
He made this statement following plans of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to postpone scheduled barangay elections this October and replace all barangay officials with appointees as many of them are said to be involved in the illegal drug trade.
“Even if the ones elected are useless, that is the essence of democracy, that they will be judged by people and not just one person,” he added.
Lacson also pointed out that the elections have been postponed several times.
“That’s why it’s called barangay elections, people should be allowed to choose their village chiefs. This has been postponed several times,” Lacson said.
The senator said that there are “consequences” to postponing it again.
“There are consequences. Even if we say his (Pres. Duterte’s) intentions are honest because he said 40 percent of barangay officials are linked to drugs, we cannot do away with removing the process of democracy,” he added.
“Right now, I am inclined to oppose the move to just appoint the barangay officials,” he further said.