Lawyer argues why Cardema is not eligible for nomination as Duterte Youth rep
MANILA, Philippines — Ronald Cardema should not be allowed as the first nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list as he changed his sectoral affiliation from “youth” to “young professionals” less than six months before the election as provided for by law, lawyer Emil Marañon III argued on Tuesday.
Marañon appeared before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) representing the National Union of Students of the Philippines, College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines, Youth Act Now Against Tyranny, and Millennials PH who all filed a petition to cancel the nomination of Cardema.
During the third en banc hearing of the Comelec, Marañon said the public must be given time to know the candidates, the party-list, and its nominees.
He noted that the former National Youth Commission chairman first said he represents the “youth” but changed this to “young professionals” after it was pointed out that the law states he is beyond the age required to represent the youth sector.
Marañon said Section 15 of the Republic Act 7941 or the Party-list System Act states that: “any elected party-list representative who changes his political party or sectoral affiliation during his term of office shall forfeit his seat: Provided, That if he changes his political party or sectoral affiliation within six (6) months before an election, he shall not be eligible for nomination as party-list representative under his new party or organization.”
“The candidates, the party-list, and the nominees must give sufficient time to the public to know the nominees and the specific sectors that they are representing,” Marañon said during the hearing.
He added that Duterte Youth failed to specify the sector that Cardema represents in its party-list nomination submitted to the Comelec.
The issue on what sector Cardema currently represents could have been avoided if Duterte Youth stated in its certificate of nomination whether he is for the youth sector or for the young professionals’ sector.
He also noted the last minute withdrawal of five Duterte Youth nominees and the last minute substitution bid of Cardema.
Cardema filed his application for substitution on May 11, Sunday, or less than 12 hours before election day. He was not present during the said hearing due to “emergency reasons,” his lawyer said.
The respondent and petitioner of the case were both tasked to submit their memoranda not later than 5 p.m. of July 5. The case will then be raffled off for a ponente for the decision. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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