Ex-NYC Chair Cardema to face raps for violation of Omnibus Election Code

Maris Federez   •   May 23, 2019   •   3374

An election lawyer believes that former National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Ronald Cardema may possibly face charges for violating the Omnibus Election Code.

Cardema has allegedly used government resources in campaigning for the Duterte Youth Party-list.

The controversy started when Cardema abandoned his position when he filed a petition for substitution before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as the first nominee of the said party-list group on May 12 without seeking permission from the Office of the President or from the President himself.

Cardema reportedly filed the petition after the five nominees of the said party-list, including the Cardema’s wife, Ducielle Marie Suarez, withdrew from the nomination.

Election lawyer, Atty. Emilio Maranon III, said that once a government official files a certificate of substitution, he will be considered resigned from post.

“Yung fact na while under the law, it’s already deemed resigned, hindi pa po siya nag-resign. Parang, he’s trying to circumvent po ‘yung nakalagay doon sa batas. Kapag napatunayan na ginamit ‘yung pondo ng gobyerno or gamit ng gobyerno, sasakyan ng gobyerno, or kanyang posisyon sa pangangampanya e ito po ay pwedeng magamit laban sa kanya [The fact that while under the law, (he’s) already deemed resigned, but he stayed in office. It seems like he’s trying to circumvent what the law states. Once it’s proven that government fund, or equipment, or vehicle, or position was used in campaigning, it can be used against him],” said Maranon.

Duterte Youth won in the Midterm elections.

It was found out, however, that it was only on May 17 when Cardema resigned from his post.

Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code states government officials are barred from joining any partisan political activities.

Whoever violates this will be meted out one to six months suspension for first offense, and dismissal from service for second offense.

Meanwhile, in her twitter post, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon questioned Cardema’s substitution, pointing out that he is already over-aged to be a nominee of the youth party-list group.

“In the Certificate of Candidacy form of Cardema, he stated that he is qualified. But is he not over 30 years old? Duterte Youth registered as a youth sector party list,” said Guanzon’s tweet.

Cardema’s Facebook account, however, stated that he was born on April 13, 1986.

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.

On his FB post, Cardema insisted that Duterte Youth is registered in Comelec as one to represent the youth and professional sectors; hence, there is no age limit.

The Comelec en Banc, on the other hand, has not issued any decision on Cardema’s petition for substitution. (with details from April Cenedoza) /mbmf

Pimentel hopes Comelec will intervene in squabble inside PDP-Laban

Marje Pelayo   •   July 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Koko Pimentel expressed high hopes that the current conflict between two factions inside the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas Ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) will be resolved through the intervention of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

This is if the conflict within the party continues until the submission of sworn information and update statements (SIUS) listing the party’s current members and officers.

“The Comelec should have a procedure na on how to speedy resolve this. Pwede naman silang mag-trace back. Sino ba yung recognize namin na party, PDP-laban. Then step by step,” Pimentel, the party’s Executive Vice-Chairman said.

“Ngayon umatras sila. Doon sa nagke-claim na PDP Laban, umatras sila. Kung sino ngayon yung makaatras dun sa recognize ng Comelec, that should be their first choice,” Pimentel added.

For Senator Pimentel, emerging factions within the party are not new.

In November 2018, the Comelec ruled that Senator Pimentel’s faction is the duly authorized representative of the PDP-Laban against the rival faction led by lawyer Atty. Rogelio Garcia.

The camp of PDP-Laban’s Vice Chairman Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi also expects the poll body to intervene and resolve the conflict.

“Kasi at the end of the day ang aming pagtatalo, sino ba ang magreresolba? Kung magtututuloy-tuloy ang pagtatalo? Ang Comelec,” noted Atty. Melvin Matibag, PDP-Laban’s Acting Secretary-General said.

Comelec’s ruling over the two factions is critical because whoever leads the PDP-Laban signs all documents for submission to the poll body, including the party’s official list of candidates for the 2022 National Elections.

Based on Comelec’s calendar, they have until August 15 to submit their SIUS.

But the faction of Secretary Cusi is determined to resolve the conflicts and prevent any split in the party.

“We will not allow that. Aayusin namin ang PDP-Laban. After the meeting tomorrow, I promise you, we will have a stronger PDP-Laban,” Matibag said.

“There might be legal questions but we have prepared for it in any forum,” he added.

Meanwhile, according to political science expert Professor Dennis Coronacion, if President Rodrigo Duterte suddenly decides to exit the PDP-Laban and join other political parties, his popularity will not be affected.

“Same pa rin yan. Actually kung titingnan natin yung mga political parties naman talaga, they don’t matter sa Philippine politics. They only matter because kinakailangan ng candidate ng affiliation. I think it’s required by the Comelec,” Coronacion said. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Comelec to set up satellite registration for PWDs in Navotas City on July 16

Marje Pelayo   •   July 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will hold a satellite registration for persons with disability (PWDs) in Navotas City on Friday (July 16).

The registration will be located at the Navoserve Office in Navotas City Hall Annex.

Registrants must be Filipino citizen who are not yet a registered voter, provided he/she possesses the following qualifications:

– At least eighteen (18) years of age on or before May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections;
– A resident of the Philippines for at least one (1) year and in the place wherein he/she proposes to vote, for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections; and
– Not otherwise disqualified by law.

Documentary requirements include any of the following proof of identification:
-Philippine Identification Card (PhilID)
-Employee’s identification card (ID), with the signature of the employer or authorized representative;
-Postal ID ;
-PWD Discount ID;
-Student’s ID or library card, signed by the school authority;
-Senior Citizen’s ID;
-Driver’s license;
-NBI clearance;
-Passport;
-SSS/GSIS ID;
-Integrated Bar of the Philippine (IBP) ID;
-License issued by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC);
-Certificate of Confirmation issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in case of members of ICCs or IPs; and
-Any other valid ID.

In the absence of any of the above-mentioned identification documents, the applicant may be identified under oath by any registered voter of the precinct where he/she intends to be registered, or by any of his/her relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.

No registered voter or relative shall be allowed to identify more than three applicants.

The Comelec said Community Tax Certificates (cedula) and Philippine National Police (PNP) clearance are not considered valid identification documents for purposes of registration.

Failure to present any of the above requirements, a person shall not be issued an application form, nor shall his/her pre-accomplished application form be accepted.

Comelec to set up voter registration booths in Robinsons malls nationwide

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections and real estate firm Robinsons Land Corporation agreed to set up voters’ registration booths in selected Robinsons malls across the country.

The Memorandum of Agreement, which will be signed on July 12, aims to bring the process of voter registration closer and more accessible to the public.

“Our aim is to give the public an accessible and efficient registration experience and provide alternative satellite registration sites by opening registration booths in malls,” said COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez.

The registration booths will be established in Robinsons malls in the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, North Luzon, South Luzon, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Mindanao.

In consideration of mall hours, only a limited number of applicants will be accommodated in the satellite registrations per day.

Only applicants who are residents of the locality or those who are intending to transfer their registration record to the locality will be accommodated.

“Once the malls have been identified and schedules finalized, applicants will be able to submit their forms and documentary requirements and have their biometrics data taken in the comfort and convenience of mall spaces,” Jimenez said.

“We will release the final list of mall registration schedules once available,” he added.

In the meantime, the public may contact their respective local COMELEC offices to inquire about schedules specific to their city or municipality.

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