Guanzon to oppose Cardema’s substitution as Duterte youth group rep
Robie de Guzman • May 23, 2019 • 2395
MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Thursday said she will oppose any move to grant the substitution bid of former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman Ronald Cardema.
In a message posted on her Twitter account, Guanzon said she has not signed a decision on Cardema’s plea as the issue has yet to be decided by the poll body.
“I have not signed a reso [resolution] giving due course to Cardema’s application for substitution but I will dissent,” she said.
“He filed it on a Sunday May 12, which is not a regular work day. And didn’t file on last day May 13,” she added.
Guanzon also said in her tweet that Comelec Sheriff Abas only signed a resolution giving due course to Cardema’s bid, but whether he is qualified to substitute is another matter.
“But can he substitute? Is Cardema qualified to be rep [representative] of Duterte Youth? That is not yet decided,” she said.
Cardema grabbed headlines after he made a last-minute substitution appeal as a nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list group without seeking permission from the Office of the President.
The Duterte Youth was one of the party-list groups proclaimed as winners in the 2019 Midterm elections by the National Board of Canvassers on May 22.
Cardema reportedly filed the petition after five nominees of the said party-list, including his wife Ducielle Suarez, withdrew from the nomination.
Guanzon, however, noted that the issue in the resolution is if Cardema had filed his application on or before the May 13 elections.
“The issue in that Reso [resolution] is only: Did Cardema file his application for substitution in time on or before May 13? Chair Abas said Cardema had majority vote of Commissioners. I will dissent,” she said.
The poll official earlier questioned Cardema’s age after the latter claimed in his certificate of candidacy that he is qualified to represent a youth sector party-list.
“In my opinion, if the original nominee is also above 30 then they are not qualified and you cannot substitute validly if the original nominee or candidate is disqualified in the first place,” Guanzon said in a separate interview after the proclamation of winning party-list groups on Tuesday.
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.
Cardema’s Facebook account stated that he was born on April 13, 1986, which makes him 33.
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.
Meanwhile, Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez said the Comelec en Banc is still studying Cardema’s petition.
“Iyong decision na papel wala pa. So, we will probably forward it to you as soon as we get it,” he said. (with details from Aiko Miguel)
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.
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)
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