Duterte eyes appointment, not election, of barangay officials

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 23) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he is mulling the appointment of barangay officials in a bid to stop narcopolitics.

"We are looking for a way to appoint na lang barangay captains, but the mechanism of how to go about it, I'm going to a compromise with the church and everybody," he said in a speech after arriving from his official visit to Myanmar and Thailand.

Duterte said he will allow the Church to nominate individuals for the posts, as long as these individuals are not involved in drugs and associated with rebels and politicians.

"They can nominate, so we can do away with shady characters," he added.

Early into the administration's controversial war on drugs, Duterte signed a law postponing barangay elections by a year to Oct. 23, 2017 from Oct. 31, 2016, saying that "drug money will seep into the electoral protest."

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

In December 2016, the President mentioned that dozens of barangay officials were included in the "narco-list," which contains personalities allegedly connected to the illegal drug trade.

Read: Duterte reveals more names in 'narco-list'

Department of Interior and Local Government chief Ismael Sueno first revealed Wednesday that the President was looking into appointments instead of elections for barangay officials.