Comelec delays decision until petition vs Cardema is resolved

Maris Federez   •   June 19, 2019   •   794

Former National Youth Commission Chair Ronald Cardema

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to come up with a final decision on the case of National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman Ronald Cardema as a new petition has been filed before the poll body against his nomination as Duterte Youth representative.

Former Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Monday (June 17) filed a petition before the poll body to reject Cardema’s substitution bid.

Comelec First Division resumed hearing on Wednesday.  

“Pangalawa na po ito at pirmado ng mga Abugadong si Atty Sixto Brillantes at si Atty Romulo Macalintal. Dahil dito may hearing po ang First Division,” Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said.

She added, “maaaring ma- consolidate o isasabay na ang pagdedesisyon sa mga kasong ito para mapadali ang pag- resolusyon.”

Guanzon also said that they will not release their final decision until the hearings on all the petitions against Cardema’s bid for a congressional seat.

Guanzon and Commissioner Luie Tito Guia also stressed that Cardema cannot assume the position as the representative of Duterte Youth because he and the party-list group were not able to comply with the submission of documents when they filed their Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA).

The two Comelec officials added that Cardema is already past the required age of 30.

Under Republic Act 7941 or the Party-list System Act, youth party-list representatives must be within 25 and 30 age range.

Cardema’s camp, on the other hand, had earlier reiterated that Duterte Youth does not only represent the young people but also the young professionals that is why he is still qualified to sit as its first nominee. (with reports from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

Duterte won’t interfere in Cardema-Guanzon row – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2019

File: President Rodrigo Duterte (PCOO)

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday said that President Rodrigo Duterte will not interfere with the row between Duterte Youth Party-list nominee Ronald Cardema and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Rowena Guanzon.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Cardema and Guanzon’s feud is between the two of them.

He added that the president will not meddle in the issue as he respects the independence of Comelec and other constitutional bodies.

“The case between Mr. Cardema and Commissioner Guanzon, I think it’s between the two of them,” he said.

“Moreover, the President respects the independence of any constitutional body. The President has not and will not interfere on any function of the Commission as well as other constitutional bodies,” he added.

Guanzon has been vocal about her opposition to Cardema’s nomination as the Duterte Youth Party-list representative and accused the latter as the one behind the threats against her.

Cardema, in turn, accused Guanzon of extortion, which she denied.

The Commissioner also dared the former to file an impeachment case against her.

READ: Comelec 1st division cancels Cardema’s nomination as Duterte Youth party rep

The feud between the two follows the decision of the poll body’s first division to cancel Cardema’s nomination as representative of the Duterte Youth party because the law states that youth representatives must be from 25 to 30 years old.

Instead of having word war, Panelo advised Cardema to file an appropriate complaint against Guanzon to settle the issue. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Comelec 1st division cancels Cardema’s nomination as Duterte Youth party rep

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2019

Ronald Cardema

MANILA, Philippines – The first division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday ordered the cancellation of the nomination of former National Youth Commission (NYC) Ronald Cardema as a representative of the Duterte Youth Party-list in the 18th Congress.

Comelec spokesperson, director James Jimenez announced the decision on his Twitter account.

“The nomination of Respondent, Ronald Gian Carlo L. Cardema, as the first nominee of Duterte Youth party-list is hereby cancelled,” read the dispositive portion of the poll body’s first division resolution obtained by UNTV News and Rescue.

Two of the three-member division, Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Marlon Caquejo, voted in favor of the petition while Commissioner Al Parreño was on official business.

In a 25-page resolution, the Comelec 1st division said that Cardema committed material misrepresentation on his age when he filed his nomination bid.

The division said Cardema was not eligible to be nominated as Duterte Youth party representative contrary to the declaration he made in his Certificate of Acceptance of Nomination.

He was also aware that he is already 34 years old, and thus “committed a falsity when he misrepresented that he eligible for nomination” despite not possessing the age qualification provided by law for representatives of the youth sector.

Section 9 of Republic Act 7941 or the Partylist Law provides that a nominee of a youth party-list group must be between 25 to 30 years old.

“In view thereof, this Commission finds respondent to have committed material misrepresentation on his qualifications,” the resolution read.

During hearings, the camp of Cardema claimed that Duterte Youth is a multi-sectoral party representing not only the youth sector but also the young professionals and this, he is eligible to be nominated despite his already being 34 years old.

But taking the petition as a whole, the division said, it can be observed that the party intended to limit its representation of professionals only insofar as “young professionals” are concerned. The division noted that Cardema himself admitted to this effect in the pleadings he filed.

“While it may be true that Duterte Youth Party-list represents both the young and young professionals, it is important to consider that the professionals being represented by the party are the “young ones,” who would necessarily belong to the youth sector,” the resolution stated.

“With this in mind, this Commission finds no reason why the age qualification provided by law for nominees of the youth sector should not be applied to the respondent,” the resolution added.

Election Lawyer Emil Marañon, counsel for petitioners against Cardema’s nomination, welcomed the Comelec division’s decision.

“We are happy to announce that with the vote of 2-0, the Comelec First Division has granted our Petition seeking the cancellation of the nomination of Gian Carlo Cardema as the First Nominee of the Duterte Youth Party-List,” Marañon said on a Twitter post.

“Hopefully, this decision will be the first step towards the reform of the party-list system, that is to bring it back to the truly marginalized and underrepresented sectors,” he said in a separate statement.

Youth groups stage protest vs Cardema’s congressional bid as Duterte Youth rep

Maris Federez   •   June 19, 2019

Youth groups congregated in front of the office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to protest against the congressional bid of former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman Ronald Cardema under the Duterte Youth party list.

Kabataan Partylist, Youth Act Now Against Tyranny and other youth groups voiced their opposition to Cardema’s bid and appeal to Comelec to junk the former official’s petition for a seat in Congress.

This, they say, will give Comelec the opportunity to prove that the last election was indeed fraud-free.

The group stressed that Cardema is not qualified to represent a youth group.

Comelec commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Luie Tito Guia had earlier stated Cardema cannot take a seat in Congress under the Duterte Youth party list for several grounds:

  1. that Cardema was not able to comply with the submission of documents when the Duterte Youth filed their Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA); and
  2. that Cardema already past the age requirement of 30 for a youth representative

Comelec is yet to come up with a final decision. (with reports from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

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