Ronald Cardema
In this Aug. 17, 2019 photo, Duterte Youth party-list group's Ronald Cardema holds a press conference in Quezon City where he accused Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon of "playing victim."
The STAR/Boy Santos
Cardema denies threatening Comelec’s Guanzon, accuses poll official of 'playing victim'
Ian Nicolas Cigaral ( - August 17, 2019 - 3:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former National Youth Commission Chair Ronald Cardema on Saturday denied that his Duterte Youth party-list sent threats to Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who had been vocal about blocking his congressional bid.

Guanzon recently reported receiving threats apparently from Duterte Youth after Comelec’s First Division — voting 2-0 — dashed Cardema’s dream of becoming a congressman and disqualified him as a representative of Duterte Youth because of his age.

Cardema was 34 when he belatedly sought to replace his wife as the nominee of a sector wherein an age limit is specified by law: between 25 to 30 years.

At a press conference, Cardema turned the tables and accused Guanzon of sending an emissary to Duterte Youth to ask him favors and money in exchange for his party-list group’s accreditation.

“Yung mga sinasabi sa inyo ni Commissioner Guanzon na mga threats, napaka-imposible ‘non. Hawak niya kami sa leeg ng ilang buwan. 'Di namin siya inaaway. 'Di kami nagsasalita,” Cardema said.

(The threats that Commissioner Guanzon reported are very impossible. Her hands have been wrapped around our neck for months. We’re not attacking her. We’re not talking.)

“Pinapalabas niya na siya ang biktima, kami sa Duterte Youth ang biktima,” he added.

(She’s playing victim. The Duterte Youth is the real victim.)

Cardema had appealed his disqualification, arguing that the poll body had no jurisdiction over his case because the matter should be handled by the House Electoral Tribunal since the party-list group won in the midterm elections. 

He added that “to limit the qualification of the group’s nominees to 30 years old is erroneous” because Duterte Youth was “registered and approved as a sectoral party representing the youth and young professionals.” — with a report from News5 

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