Dantes, Seguerra call for dismissal of Cardema application as substitue nominee for partylist
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol –– Former chiefs and commissioners of the National Youth Commission (NYC), including former chairperson Ice Seguerra, and former commissioner and actor Dingdong Dantes called for the outright dismissal of the application of Duterte Youth Chairman Ronald Gian Carlo Cardema as substitute nominee for the Duterte Youth partylist.
“In our years of service at the NYC, we have consistently toiled and struggled for the well-being and rightful representation of the youth in various institutions and instrumentalities within and outside of government,” the former commissioners and chiefs said in a statement Monday.
The statement was signed by NYC Commissioners Erwin Chua Andaya (2011-2014), JP Peñol (2014-2016), Perci Vilar Cendana (2011-2016) and actor Dingdong Dantes (2014-2016).
Three former chairpersons–Leon Flores III (2011-2014), Gregorio Tingson ( 2014-2016) and CY Diño ‘Ice’ Seguerra, (2016-2018)–also signed the statement.
Cardema was an NYC officer-in-charge and was also the chair of the Duterte Youth Movement.
The former chiefs and commissioners of NYC said “genuine representation matters especially in policymaking.”
“Genuine representation is paramount in any democracy that should advance the welfare of the marginalized and the vulnerable. The quip “nothing about us without us” reminds us all to keep genuine representation as a relevant and integral tenet of inclusive democracy,” they said.
They said Cardema and the four other nominee-applicants, undisputedly fall outside the prescribed age set by law.
They cited Section 9 of the Party-List Act as unequivocal about youth representation, singling out the youth among so many other sectors in terms of qualifications: “In case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at least be twenty-five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election.”
“As such, the qualifications set forth by law categorically apply. Thus, owing to the law’s absolute and unconditional requirement, their application for substitution should not have been given due course at all,” they said.
They argued that owing to the law’s absolute and unconditional requirement, the application for substitution should not have been given due course at all. They added that the ‘circumvention of electoral laws and the extraordinary accommodations to non-members of the youth sector effectively disenfranchise the very sector they seek to represent’.
“Mahalaga na ang kumakatawan sa kabataan ay totoong galing sa hanay nito. Ito ang buod ng inklusibong demokrasya – na nasusunod ang batas at may tunay na representasyon lalo na sa mga sector na higit na nangangailangan ng boses at kapangyarihan,” said Flores.
(It is important that the youth representative should come from its own ranks. This is the essence of inclusive democracy – the compliance of laws and genuine representation especially of sectors in dire need of voice and empowerment.)
They also asked that the public spare the NYC and refrain from subjecting it to ‘unnecessary nitpicking, euphemistic mudslinging, and unfounded accusations’ and that the maneuverings of one person should not be equated to and interpreted as the action of the institution.
A call was also made for various government agencies to initiate an investigation to ascertain if Cardema, during his stint as NYC chief, inappropriately used government funds, resources, and his position to advance the interest of the partylist which he heads.
Seguerra said: “Mali talaga. Maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw ang kanyang pag-circumvent o pag-ilag sa batas at patakaran upang isulong ang kanyang personal na ambisyon. Mas nakakapanlumo rin ang tahasang pagamit niya sa kanyang posisyon at sa ahensya upang mangampanya.”
(This is really wrong. He clearly circumvented the law and procedures to advance his personal ambition. It is even more appalling that he used his position and the agency to campaign.)
Dantes earlier lambasted Cardema saying the latter should have resigned his post if he had any intentions to seek nomination to their partylist.
They also called various government agencies to initiate an investigation to ascertain if Cardema indeed inappropriately used government funds, resources, and his position to advance the interest of the partylist which he heads.
“A whiff of corruption requires that he be held accountable for his actions,” they said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) had approved the substitution bid of Cardema to become the party-list group’s nominee in the 2019 elections.
The poll body’s decision means Cardema is a step closer to assuming the post as a party-list representative in the Lower House in the incoming 18th Congress. The party-list won one seat in the 2019 elections.
The Comelec en banc is scheduled to hear the 10 petitions lodged against Cardema June 11.
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