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Guanzon: It’s the best time to be with minority

Shiela Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
Guanzon: Itâs the best time to be with minority
This undated file photo shows Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon
Philstar.com / Efigenio Toledo IV, File photo

MANILA, Philippines — With the “super majority” bloc dominating the 19th Congress, P3PWD party-list Rep. Rowena Guanzon has stressed the need for the minority block to do its job as a fiscalizer.

In an interview with One News’ “The Chiefs” aired over Cignal TV/TV5 on Monday night, Guanzon said “this is the best time” to be a part of the minority in the House of Representatives in the 19th Congress

“You will really work hard. But the problem is if the minority congressmen and congresswomen get intimidated with the super majority,” Guanzon said.

A known critic of president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Guanzon has expressed intention to join the minority in Congress.

Guanzon said what is important is for the minority to do its job as a “fiscalizer.”

“But even if they are super majority, the Speaker will not write out politicking. The Speaker, Cong. Martin Romualdez, is well-educated,” she said.

Guanzon said the P3PWD “does not have anything bad to say” about Romualdez as he was the one who authored the law exempting persons with disabilities from paying value-added tax.

She, however, reserved an opinion when asked if there is any discrepancy if a minority member votes for a House Speaker, who belongs to the majority, as has been the practice in the past.

“I have not seen the rules. I want to see the rules. What is the rule, why was it allowed before?” she said.

Complaint vs Cardema

Guanzon yesterday filed a new complaint, this time before the Office of the Ombudsman, against National Youth Commission chairman Ronald Cardema.

In a 19-page complaint, Guanzon alleged that Cardema violated the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials when he posted several statements against her on his Facebook page.

“Not only did the respondent use his official time and position in government to advance a personal vendetta that is so foreign and far removed from his official duties and functions, his conduct most importantly also shows his extreme lack of professionalism,” read the complaint.

“It created – to the detriment of public service and interest – the impression that a government position is a source of power, which the holder of the position may indiscriminately use to harass or disparage another,” it added.

Guanzon, who last week filed cyberlibel and unjust vexation complaints against Cardema, alleged that the latter “spends his time mobilizing his personal hate campaign” against her.

As an official with the rank of undersecretary, she said Cardema is expected to observe and be an example of decorum and to display only such conduct becoming of the office that he represents.

“Respondent, fueled by his personal grudge against me, insulted and mocked me multiple times. The baseless accusations he hurled against me constantly exposed me to public ridicule and shame and bespeak of malice of the highest degree,” Guanzon said.

In response, Cardema described Guanzon’s complaint as “frivolous, vague and baseless,” which he said could be easily be answered in the ombudsman.

“As a government official seeing very clear violations of the law, I am bound and mandated to uphold and defend it all the time,” he said.

“Everybody knows that she used her Comelec position to publicly harass me in the media and in social media, calling me degrading names. I did not even do such things against her as a government official, I just cite what laws she is violating,” he added.

Cardema also alleged that Guanzon herself violated the law she cited in her complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman, noting that she was still part of the poll body when it approved the party-list that she will represent in the upcoming Congress.

Cardema has repeatedly tried to block Guanzon from becoming the first nominee of P3PWD party-List.

The Comelec has approved withdrawal of the party-list’s five original nominees and allowed Guanzon to substitute. –  Janvic Mateo

ROWENA GUANZON

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