Ex-NYC execs urge Comelec to reject Cardema’s substitution bid
MANILA, Philippines — The former chairperson of the National Youth Commission (NYC) and its commissioners, including former chair Cariza “Ice” Seguerra and former commissioner and actor Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes III, have called for the “outright dismissal” of the substitution bid of Duterte Youth chair Ronald Cardema and others to the party-list.
“For the sake of the Filipino youth who, until now, continues to yearn for and struggle with representation and empowerment at various levels, we implore the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to side with the Filipino youth and declare Cardema et al as unqualified and ineligible substitutes and to immediately reject their CONAs (Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance),” the seven former leaders of the NYC said in a statement Monday.
“Doing otherwise would set the wrong precedent, send a confusing message, and pose a clear disservice to the Filipino youth,” they added.
The three former chairs who signed the statement were Duterte-appointed Seguerra, Gregoria Ramon Tiongson, and Leon Flores III while the four former commissioners were Dantes, Percival Cendana, JP Peño, and Erwin Andaya.
In demanding “genuine representation” and “respecting the party-list law,” the executives cited Section 9 of Republic Act No. 7941 or The Party-List Act, which states that “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.”
They argued that owing to the law’s absolute and unconditional requirement, the application for substitution should not have been given a due course at all because Cardema is 34.
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,” they 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,” they added.
They also called on 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 Duterte Youth party, which won a seat in the coming 18th Congress.
The Comelec en banc is scheduled to hear the 10 petitions lodged against Cardema on Tuesday, June 11. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.