Ex-janitor who passed bar exams shares inspirational story

admin   •   May 4, 2017   •   5105

MANILA  Sacrifice and discipline led a 35-year-old former janitor of COMELEC to law school. He is one of the 3,747 examinees who passed the 2016 bar exams.

“Talagang disiplina lang po sa pag-gastos po. Sa totoo lang kahit na po yung damit ko ay iilang piraso lang po. Hindi po ako bumibili ng mga bago po, kasi ang gusto ko po matapos ko yung pag-aaral ko. Imbes na ipambibili ko po ng mga gamit, tinitipid ko po para mai-tuition ko po (It’s really about disciplined spending. I only have few pieces of clothes. I didn’t buy new ones because I wanted to finish my schooling.  Instead of buying stuff, I would save the money for my tuition fee),” said former janitor and now a bar passer, Rammil Commendador.

Commendador hails from Virac, Catanduanes. His road to success was not a smooth one. His primary inspirations are his wife and two children who have also made sacrifices for Commendador to be able to graduate from law school.

“Gusto ko po talaga maputol yung cycle ng kahirapan. Kasi alam ko po edukasyon lang po talaga ang susi (I want to end the cycle of poverty. I know education is the key),” Commendador added.

Commendador is now an election assistant. He does not plan on leaving COMELEC even if he becomes a lawyer.

For the first time, law graduates from the provinces dominated the top 10 placers of the bar exams.

Karen Mae Calam, a graduate from the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, who got 89.05%, is the topnotcher.  Three of her schoolmates also belong to the top 10.

Alanna Gayle Ashley Khio of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, who got 88.95%, is the second placer. Two other graduates from Silliman University also belong to the top 10.

A passing rate of 59%, the highest in the history of bar exams was also recorded.

“The 2016 passing percentage is definitely the highest with a remarkable 59.06% based on the grade of 75%. I congratulate and doff my hat to the 3,747 successful candidates.  Mabuhay!” Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. said.

The oath taking ceremony for the new lawyers is on May 22 at the Mall of Asia arena in Pasay City.  Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

9 of 10 Filipinos favor automated election system — Pulse Asia

Maris Federez   •   August 7, 2019

Majority of the Filipinos still favor continuing the holding of elections through an automated system in the future.

Based on Pulse Asia’s recent survey conducted last June, nine of 10 or 91% of Filipinos would still prefer having the elections done electronically.

They said an automated election system is faster and the results are immediately released.

“They feel that faster results made the Elections more credible and then it’s also easier compared to let’s say how we use to vote where you have to write the surname of the candidate,” Pulse Asia president Dr. Ronnie Holmes said.

An election watchdog, however, said that since election results were difficult to manipulate under the AES, reports of vote-buying increased.

“Vote buying became more rampant after we automated our Elections because candidates, politicians did not know how to cheat the machines,” said LENTE executive director Atty. Ona Carritos.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) believes that President Rodrigo Duterte still trusts the automated election system despite his earlier pronouncement in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) favoring the termination of the contract with Smartmatic. (with details from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

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.

Voter registration pushes through despite proposal to postpone Brgy & SK Polls

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 2, 2019

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has pushed through with the voters registration despite the proposed postponement of the Barangay and SK elections next year.

According to Comelec Spokesman Dir. James Jimenez, it is better to be prepared in case Congress decides not to postpone the Barangay and SK polls.

Jimenez also said voters can still register even on Saturdays and holidays. The voter registration will run until September 30.

“The commission will open the registration process on Saturdays and even holidays to allow more applicants to be accommodated, especially students and working people who may not have time during weekdays,” Jimenez said.

An estimated two million voters will file their registration in the country.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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