Palace: Comelec ruling on Cardema case based on facts
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday distanced itself from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision to cancel the nomination of Ronald Cardema as Duterte Youth representative under the party list system.
“[The Comelec is] an independent body. The Palace’s policy is always this: the decisions of any court or administrative body should be based on facts and evidence presented before them,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said at a press briefing.
The Comelec’s cancellation of Cardema’s nomination means that the known supporter of the President will not be issued a certification of proclamation and cannot take a seat in the House of Representatives.
According to the ruling by the Comelec’s First Division released on Monday, Cardema, 34, was not eligible to represent the youth because he was over the age limit of 30 required of youth party representatives.
The ruling by division members Comelec Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Marlon Casquejo also noted that Cardema’s last-minute nomination as the party list’s substitute representative showed a “clear attempt” to circumvent election laws and the Comelec rules.
The substitution on the eve of Election Day “speak(s) resoundingly of a clear attempt, not just to circumvent the law and the rules but also to hide from the electorate Cardema’s ineligibility as a nominee of Duterte Youth,” Guanzon said.
Meanwhile, Guanzon posted a new threat she had received, allegedly from Cardema’s camp.
In her Twitter post, Guanzon quoted the threat and tagged Cardema’s Twitter handle.
“Another threat: NAGMAMALINIS KA PA IKAW DIN ANG MAY GAWA. SATANAS!” Ronald Cardema you will still deny this is from your gang of thugs?” she tweeted.
Guanzon earlier said she had received a threat through an anonymous text message.
In her earlier dissenting opinion, Guanzon described the poll body’s approval of Cardema’s substitution application as an “unabashed mockery and an assault to democratic processes.”
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