Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon stressed her colleagues in the poll body have only given “due course” to Cardema’s application to be the substitute-nominee of the group.
Photo dated April 24 and posted on Duterte Youth Facebook page
Comelec needs complaint, proof that Cardema used NYC post in campaign
Rosette Adel ( - June 6, 2019 - 9:29pm

MANILA, Philippines— The Commission on Elections needs a formal complaint and evidence into allegations that Ronald Cardema, chairman of the Duterte Youth, campaigned for the party-list while he was chairman of the National Youth Commission.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that if it is proven that Cardema openly campaigned while he was NYC chairman—a post he is deemed to have abandoned on May 12 when he filed to be the party-list's substitute nominee—he would be in a “problematic situation.”

"He's an appointed official it's not a political position. So, technically speaking again, if anyone can prove that he was in fact actively campaigning and using the resources of the National Youth Commission to campaign for any particular party-list group, then that could be a problematic situation for him," Jimenez said on ANC's "Early Edition".

He said the Comelec needs formal complaints and concrete evidence that Cardema used NYC's budget to fund the Duterte Youth's campaign.

READ: Comelec: Duterte Youth's 30-somethings should justify 'youth' in name


Duterte Youth initially listed Cardema’s wife Ducielle Marie Suarez and four others as its nominees while he stayed on as NYC chairman.

On the Sunday before the May 13 polls, however, Cardema, filed a petition for substitution and asked the Comelec to make him the party-list's first nominee.

Duterte Youth won one seat in the 2019 elections.

Opposition to his being the party-list's representative have included his being past 30, the irregularity in filing the substitution on a Sunday afternoon, and allegations that he campaigned for the Duterte Youth while chairman of the NYC.

He also sent press statements in favor of the Duterte Youth through NYC email addresses.

“But the problem there is we don’t have personal knowledge of those activities that's why we're always saying it would be good if you have complainants who could stand as a witness, who could give an affidavit because otherwise the Comelec was not able to see it firsthand,” Jimenez said.

Asked about Facebook posts showing Cardema he campaigned for Duterte Youth counts as evidence, Jimenez said that still “has to be proven.”

“Better if we have a complainant to give flesh to that accusation,” he said.

Alleged chat screenshots

On Tuesday, Twitter user @chunggoloid_ posted a link to an online drive containing supposed screenshots of Cardema’s private conversations allegedly showing expenses for the Duterte Youth campaign.

The unverified screenshots also allegedly show Cardema ordering online attacks against Dingdong Dantes, an actor and former NYC commissioner.

RELATED: Cardema 'railroading' party-list process, ex-NYC exec Dingdong Dantes says

The Commission on Audit has flagged excessive leave credit monetization and travel reimbursement claims of NYC officials and employees but the NYC denied any public funds were misused, claiming that the reports are "inaccurate, incorrect and misleading."

The COA said “official travels that fell on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are not included” in the allowable reasons for the grant of compensatory time-off (CTO) and special day off (SDO) leave provided under the Civil Service Commission and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Joint Circular No. 2 Series of 2004.

Furthermore, the COA said the CTO and SDO credits were granted even if the employees were already given per diem or travel allowance.

“Verification disclosed that a total of 371 days of absence incurred by 67 employees were compensated by CTO/SDO which ranged from one to 22 days per employee or the total amount of P680,675.91,” the COA report also read.

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