Palace: Barangay polls to push through in May 2018

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 27) — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday that there will be no third postponement of the barangay elections, which are set for May 2018.

His statement came after Sen. Franklin Drilon said in a Sunday radio interview that there were plans to "railroad" charter charge, thus moving the local polls to October or November 2018 so that it would coincide with a plebiscite for the proposed shift to a federal government.

"I find that comment from Senator Drilon strange," Roque said in a Palace press briefing. "Senator (Koko) Pimentel declared before the audience of 4,000 (in Leyte) that there was no support in the Senate for another postponement of the barangay elections. That means, as far as Congress is concerned, barangay elections will push through."

Around 42,000 barangays nationwide will vote in the upcoming polls. The barangay elections were last held in October 2013.

In 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte postponed the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls from October 2016 to October 2017 after expressing fears of drug money getting into the elections.

Read: Duterte signs law postponing SK, barangay polls – PCO

Duterte said in December 2016 that dozens of barangay officials were on the "narco-list," which contains personalities allegedly connected to the illegal drug trade.

Read: Duterte inclined to postpone barangay polls to avert narco-politics

A year later, the President again postponed the local polls, moving it from Oct. 23, 2017 to May 2018.

Read: Duterte signs law moving barangay, SK polls to May 2018

CNN Philippines Senior Correspondent Ina Andolong contributed to this report.