He was named first nominee even if the party-list system law requires a nominee of the youth sector to be 30 years old at the most. Cardema is 34.
Russell Palma
Cardema bid given due course by Comelec
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - June 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has resolved to give due course to the petition of former National Youth Commission chairman Ronald Cardema and four others to be substitute nominees of the Duterte Youth party-list.

In a three-page resolution dated June 3, Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas along with Commissioners Al Parreño, Socorro Inting, Marlon Casquejo and Antonio Kho Jr. voted to give due course to the nomination of Cardema’s group. 

The four others are Gian Carlo Galang, Catherine Santos, Kerwin Pagaran and Sharah Shane Makabali.   

The poll body also granted the withdrawal of the Certificates of Acceptance of Nomination (CONAs) of the original nominees of the youth group, namely Cardema’s wife Ducielle Marie Suarez, Joseph de Guzman, Benilda de Guzman, Amado Villafranca and Elizabeth Anne Cardema.  

They were replaced by Cardema and the four others.

He was named first nominee even if the party-list  system law requires a nominee of the youth sector to be 30 years old at the most. Cardema is 34.

Duterte Youth was allocated one party-list seat in the House of Representatives after receiving 354,629 votes in the midterm elections.

Malacañang kept its hands off the Comelec’s decision on Cardema.

“We do not intrude nor interfere in the proceedings of any branch of the government or any constitutional body,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

In issuing the resolution, the Comelec adopted the recommendation of the poll body’s Law Department on the petitions for withdrawal and acceptance of the CONAs.

The commission said the withdrawal documents submitted by the youth group’s first five nominees were in compliance with Section 8 of Republic Act 7941 or the Party-list System Act and Rule 4 of Comelec Resolution No. 9366.

The poll body has not resolved the 10 petitions filed to oppose Cardema’s substitution bid to represent Duterte Youth in the House of Representatives.

Poll Commissioner Luie Tito Guia abstained from voting as he had voted to deny the accreditation of the youth group.

Commissioner Rowena Guanzon was the lone dissenter.

In her eight-page dissenting opinion, Guanzon said Cardema’s group had “failed to file their CONAs on time and they do not meet the age requirement.”

She said the Comelec set the deadline for withdrawal or acceptance of nominations before the closing of the May 13 midterm elections.

Guanzon said Cardema’s group filed the withdrawal and acceptance of CONAs on May 12, which was a Sunday, in violation of Comelec Resolution No. 9366.

“The filing of the notices of withdrawal and substitute CONAs on a prohibited day renders the same as irregular and illegal,” she said.

According to Guanzon, Duterte Youth is registered as a “sectoral party representing the youth.”

“Based on the CONAs, all the substitute nominees are more than 30 years old. For instance, Cardema is 34, having been born on April 12, 1985,” she said.  

Guanzon said the Comelec en banc, in the exercise of its administrative power, should deny the CONAs of the substitute nominees on the ground of ineligibility.  –  With Alexis Romero

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS RONALD CARDEMA
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