Cardema’s party-list bid an abuse of the law – Robredo adviser
MANILA, Philippines — An abuse of the Party-List System Act.
That’s how lawyer Barry Gutierrez, legal adviser of Vice President Leni Robredo, described on Sunday the scenario if the substitution bid of Ronald Cardema, former chief of the National Youth Commission (NYC), would be granted by the Commission on Election (Comelec).
Gutierrez pointed out Cardema’s filing a petition to be the substitute nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list group without resigning first from the NYC was wrong in the first place.
“What happened in his case was that he was with the National Youth Commission,” Gutierrez said, speaking Filipino, during “BISErbisyong LENI,” Robredo’s weekly program on AM radio station DZXL. “He did not resign because he wasn’t the nominee. Then when it [Duterte Youth] won, five of the nominees, including his wife, resigned, backed out. So they nominated another person, and that’s him. In other words, he was able to avoid the requirement that he first resign from his post. And that would be wrong if it would be allowed.”
Gutierrez also expressed concern that granting Cardema’s petition might set a precedent.
“If this will be allowed, I’m worried that in the next party-list elections, everybody will do the same thing: Government officials will run, without first having themselves listed. But when the party wins, then it would be their names that would appear. If we would allow that, then there would really be an abuse of the party-list system.”
According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, 10 petitions have been already filed against Cardema on the issue on his substitution.
Jimenez said the Comelec still had not decided on the case.
Duterte Youth was one of the 51 groups that got one of the 61 seats in the House of Representatives allocated for party-list groups.
The Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) party-list group will be given three seats in Congress after topping 180 other party-list groups in the May 13 midterm polls. Also getting three seats is Bayan Muna.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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