Duterte plan to appoint village officials ‘undemocratic’?

Duterte plan to appoint village officials ‘undemocratic’?

Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani. MARIA TAN

MANILA— Alleging that appointing village officials smacked of “authoritarianism”, a Catholic bishop hit President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan of resetting barangay elections again and replacing incumbent officials with his appointees for being undemocratic.

A member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, retired Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani, said filling the posts with “officers-in-charge” contradicts the very essence of “elementary democracy”.

“Elections were set in order to allow the people to choose, and not the president,” Bacani told Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas.

“It cannot be done through appointment. That is not what is provided for by law. The barangay elections is part of elementary democracy because this is where the people can start choosing their leaders,” he said.

The bishop warned the public of a “gripping authoritarianism” if the government pursues the plan due to “narco-politics”.

“We are slowly becoming an authoritarian government. Slowly, that is what you call gripping authoritarianism,” Bacani said.

The prelate also expressed apprehension that Duterte’s “authoritarian rule” could return the country under a dictatorship.

“People are slowly being pushed towards authoritarian. Worse, the people are allowing it. Before you know it, our president will turn out to be a dictator in the end,” he said. CBCPNews