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Mali kasi kayo: Lagman lectures Alvarez, Fariñas on Barangay poll laws

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Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman on Tuesday (March 28) lectured the top two officials in the House of Representatives (HOR) regarding President Rodrigo Duterte’s supposed intention of appointing new Barangay officials all over the country.

According to the veteran politiko, his fellow lawyers House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas erred when they said there’s nothing wrong with Duterte’s plans.

“Neither the Constitution nor a statute can enable President Rodrigo Duterte or his alter ego to appoint en masse or selectively barangay chairmen and officials,” Lagman said in a statement.

Lagman quoted Section 8 of Article X of the Constitution, which provides that: “The term of office of elective local officials, except Barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms.”

“Verily, the Constitution itself classifies barangay officials as ‘elective local officials,’ although their term of office is determined by law and not fixed by the Constitution,” the Bicolano solon said.

Lagman insisted that Congress can only provide for the term and periodic elections of Barangay officials but it cannot authorize the President to appoint Barangay officials who are categorized by the Constitution as “elective local officials” who shall be elected by their qualified constituents.

He said that even the various barangay election laws, including RA No. 10923 which postponed the October 2016 barangay elections to the fourth Monday of October 2017, provides for hold over of incumbents.

Section 3 of RA No. 10923 provides that “Until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified, all incumbent barangay officials shall remain in office, unless sooner removed or suspended for cause,” Lagman pointed out.

As a parting shot, Lagman remarked: “Democratic electoral processes should never be sacrificed to the questionable scheme of the President and his cheerleaders in the House of Representatives.”

Fariñas is a former bar topnotcher.