Press Release
August 24, 2016

Transcript of the statement of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri during committee hearing on Local Government

"I am happy that most of the recommendations of the local government units are for the postponement. I really believe that this (barangay election) is too close to this (2016) election, a very divisive election. Until now there's still a lot of internet chatter and fight on the ground for the last 50 days of the new administration.

I believe it will also save a lot of money for the LGUs. At the same time, I believe postponing it will give the government a chance to continue their Oplan Tokhang which is very successful, sa Cagayan De Oro and from Mindanao. If we put politics in the forefront for the next 2 months, magkaka-problema na naman tayo. I believe Sec. Sueño will again have a difficult time identifying barangay officials involved in drugs. where election and campaign have a lot of stakes, too much.

As early as now, (they are) asking for all sorts of support. It's supposed to be non-partisan, but, alam naman ng mga mayors, vicemayors, councillors iyan, that's the reality on the ground. alam naman nila yan, kinukulit kami niyan araw araw. Oplan Tokhang din sila dito, tinotokhang din nila kami, lumilipad sila dito. (The postponement will) Mabigyan natin ang government the opportunity to pursue their anti-drug campaign.

Tama po si Chairperson Aiza Seguerra, it has been a long time since the SK has had an election in the different barangays. I would have been more radical. Instead of having SK councils, I would have wanted that the SK chairperson be a part of the barangay council as the youth representative.

In Bukidnon, out of 156 barangays, maybe a third or 50 did not complete their councils. (Ang nangyayari ang SK) hindi pinapansin ng kapitan, pag kaaway ng kapitan yung SK. (But) if as a standing member of the barangay council. You would have been a member of the council. Kasi ngayon, as ex oficio, kung ayaw ng kapitan sa iyo, etsapwera ka, wala kang magagawa. So, as a member of the barangay council as the youth representative, that would also make the chairman's life easier. Because, you won't have to just vet out the candidate for that one position in the barangay.

(Ang gagawin na lang) Separate sa ballot, yung pito (barangay councilors) and isa for youth councilor. Kasama sa council, kasama yan.

On the length of years. Kung kasabay sila (sa election) every 3 years, napakahirap. So you have my full support. Consensus is one year. Now the only question is what summer. This summer which is too soon or next summer which is too long. Six months from now, or, one year six months from now.

A lot of talk on raising the penalties on non-performing barangay officials. What are the steps taken without amendments to the Local Government Code on erring barangay officials? With the listahan presented by President Digong, is there a recall measure, or actually remove with existing laws?

Mayroon po bang recall? Kung mga drug lord or corrupt. Should there be a signature campaign. Is that the same?"

Reply: Punong barangay, the recall process is the same as other LGU officials.

Somebody will have to accept the money. I has become very expensive, many secretly agree with me. They will tell you na napakamahal. 'Wag na tayong magbolahan dito. Makakapagsalita ako dahil tumakbo akong Independent.

In the brgy elections, yung mga kapitan, because they are in panic mode and because people expect a certain amount from them. Kaya ang mayayaman nananalo. 500 pesos per voter, we can't turn a blind eye. Dati wholesale. Kakausapin na lang ang isang tao sa Comelec at papalitan na lang returns pagdating ng balota sa munisipyo. Noon wholesale.

We moved to automated elections. Problem, naging retail and dayaan. Without policing this, wala kayong sinasampolan. (Nandiyan) ang sample ballots with 50, 500, 1000 pesos per sample ballot.

(Ang dapat gawin) 'Yung mga namigay noon, sampulan ng PNP yan. Matatakot na ang mga tao. It's going to be more and more expensive. Wais na ang mga tao ngayon. Sa Region 8, sa Mindanao, isang sakong bigas ang hinihingi na. Kung isang sakong bigas 1,800 pesos, so 1,800 pesos per voter. Comelec, this is the situation on the ground. Mabuti na lang that God gave me this opportunity to run as an Independent.

Even pati sa senador, napakamahal pati local officials, wala akong pera independent candidate ako. If you want to fix the political system. Vote-buying, that is the direction of the cheating right now. I-postpone natin, we just save them one year. One year from now, we will have tokhang naman. Very rampant cheating. It's now retail. Sana may masampolan.

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