The substitute nominee will be the group’s representative in the House of Representative after it won a seat in the last elections.
Russell Palma
Comelec to hear pleas vs Cardema substitution
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to hold its first hearing today on the petitions filed to oppose the application of former National Youth Commission chair Ronald Cardema to be the substitute nominee of Duterte Youth party-list group.

The substitute nominee will be the group’s representative in the House of Representative after it won a seat in the last elections.

According to Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, the poll body has already notified Cardema and the other parties concerned, including those who questioned his application, to attend the hearing.

Asked if Cardema is required to personally appear during the hearing, she said it would be his loss if he does not show up.

“How can he prove he (should not be) disqualified if he does not appear and testify?” she noted.

Among those that filed opposition to Cardema’s substitution were poll watchdog Kontra Daya, National Union of Students of the Philippines, College Editors Guild, Youth Act Now Against Tyranny, Student Regent of the University of the Philippines System, Tindig-University of Santo Tomas and Millennials PH.

Veteran poll lawyer George Garcia claimed that respondents to such a case need not show up during Comelec hearings. Instead, they can issue a special power of attorney to be represented in court.

He added that in a high-profile case, the attendance of the respondent can be helpful as they can defend themselves personally. 

Last week, the Comelec, voting 5-1-1, gave due course to the substitution bid of Cardema and to the withdrawal of the original nominees.

However, Guanzon had dissented as she believed that submission of Cardema’s certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) and the withdrawal of the original nominees’ CONAs were filed beyond deadline.

She maintained that Cardema had failed to meet the age requirement because he was already 34 when he filed for substitution while the nominees of Duterte Youth, which is registered as representative of the youth, should not be over 30.

Former chairpersons and commissioners of the NYC yesterday sought the “outright dismissal” of the application of Cardema and four others to be the substitute-nominees of Duterte Youth.

In a statement, the officials said the application of Cardema’s group and the withdrawal of nomination of the partylist’s original nominees “are deemed to be fraught with irregularities and attended by glaring procedural anomalies.”    

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