Ronald Cardema
The 33-year-old former chairman of the National Youth Commission grabbed headlines after he made a last-minute bid at substitution as a nominee of the group, which he described as "radical rightists.” All five original nominees of the party-list had reportedly backed out despite doing well on pre-election surveys and in the May 13 elections.
National Youth Commission/Facebook, released
Comelec's Guanzon on Cardema’s party-list bid: I will dissent
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - May 23, 2019 - 12:21pm

MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said Thursday she has not signed a decision on a plea filed by Ronald Cardema to be a substitute nominee of Duterte Youth party-list, adding she would oppose any moves to grant the petition which she said was not submitted in time.

READ: 51 groups proclaimed as party-list winners

“I have not signed a [resolution] about giving due course to Cardema's application for substitution but I will dissent,” Guanzon said in a tweet.

“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.

READ: Comelec exec on Cardema plea: Now that party-list won, he wants to kick out his wife?

The 33-year-old former chairman of the National Youth Commission grabbed headlines after he made a last-minute bid at substitution as a nominee of the group, which he described as "radical rightists.” All five original nominees of the party-list had reportedly backed out despite doing well on pre-election surveys and in the May 13 elections.

Cardema’s surprise move raised opposition from various sectors including the Kabataan party-list, which Cardema had framed as his group's rival and tagged as "New People's Army-allies who are all bitter with the election results." The NPA is the armed-wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas said Wednesday a majority of the commissioners have voted on whether Cardema’s petition was submitted in time, although a resolution has yet to be promulgated.

He added that questions on Cardema's eligibility are matters that the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal — which is composed of six representatives and six Supreme Court justices — can rule on.

READ: Cardema may face raps for holding NYC meeting amid party-list bid | Comelec allows Cardema's surprise substitution as Duterte Youth rep

"Chair Abas emphasized he signed a reso giving due course to Cardema's application for subsitution but whether he is qualified to substitute is another matter," Guanzon said in a separate tweet.

"The issue in that reso 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 added. “But can he substitute? Is Cardema qualified to be rep of Duterte Youth? That is not yet decided."

Comelec commissioners have had a history of reversing an initial decision. Voting 4-3, the poll body in 2016 decided against mall voting for the May 9 elections, overturning its March 10 resolution amid mounting criticisms.

Then Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said three commissioners – Christian Lim, Luie Guia and Arthur Lim, who previously voted for mall voting, considered the dissenting opinion of Guanzon.

READ: Comelec aborts mall voting plan

— with a report from Jonathan de Santos

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS RONALD CARDEMA
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