Duterte against 'no elections' – Malacañang

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 9) — President Rodrigo Duterte wants next year's election to proceed as scheduled even as some lawmakers are for deferring it in the wake of the proposed shift to federalism.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday said Duterte told them on Monday he is opposing a "no election" scenario.

"He reiterated he is against 'no-el'. He wants to push through with the elections in 2019 and has committed to give us the most honest and the most credible elections in 2019," Roque said in a media briefing.

He added elections can only be moved if the Constitution is amended before May 2019.

"As I said, if they are able to amend the Constitution and have the people ratify it before 2019, that's the only possibility of the postponement of the elections," he said.

Some lawmakers have expressed support for House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez's proposal to move the midterm election to coincide with the general election in 2022.

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rey Umali said elections should be postponed to give the proposed Constituent Assembly time to revise the Constitution.

Alvarez earlier said he wants Congress to convene as a Constituent Assembly this year and draft a Constitution that may be ratified in a plebiscite in May, simultaneous with the barangay elections.