Duterte inclined to postpone barangay polls to avert narco-politics

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President Rody Duterte at the 10th founding anniversary of the Eastmincom

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The drug menace in the country has become so entrenched that narco-politics is now a problem even at the grassroots-level.

According to President Rodrigo Duterte the illegal drug situation even threatens the coming barangay (village) elections. For this reason, the President says he's inclined to support moves in Congress to postpone the electoral exercise.

Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections are set on October 31. House Speaker Pantaleon "Bebot" Alvarez had earlier said he was in favor of moving the elections to a later date because appointments still had to be made in the new administration — something prohibited during an election period. 

Duterte, who spoke on Friday in front of Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) troopers in Panacan, Davao City, said he feared drug lords might bankroll the campaign of barangay candidates.

"Because I am afraid that the drug money will seep into the electoral process. You will just be adding to our headache people, na kung sino manalo ngayon, [that whoever would win] those that are funded by drug money will win," the President warned.

He said if this would happen, the only recourse to "eliminate all" would be to declare martial law.

"Which I will never do in the first place," Duterte clarified.

Another reason why he was inclined to defer the polls, the President said, was money.

"You have to spend billions. Di itulong ko na lang ‘yan sa mga rehab [I'd rather use the money to put up drug rehabilitation centers].

Video: Last day for barangay, SK polls registration

Meanwhile, the President also reacted to Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno's recent statement that the role of the courts was to prevent the country from falling into anarchy as the government intensifies its war on drugs.

Duterte shot back by saying there would be no anarchy under his watch.

"Kasi kung sabihin mo sa tao ngayon na wala akong warrant, eh may baril ako, may droga ako dito [If you're saying I don't have a warrant, what if someone has drugs and packs a gun] Hearing your words, do not allow yourself to be arrested without a warrant, is a very dangerous statement. You will promote anarchy, the things that you really fear," he said.

The President said there would be a way to deal with his presidency, if indeed his current actions might lead to civil unrest — by being likely killed by the military or the police.

CNN Philippines' David Santos contributed to this report.