Guanzon dares Cardema to publicly deny being behind threats
MANILA, Philippines — Commissioner Rowena Guanzon of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) dares Ronald Cardema, whose nomination to the Duterte Youth party-list group was canceled, to publicly deny that he was behind threats to her and her family.
“Immediately after news of Mr. Cardema’s disqualification came out [on Monday], I got text messages threatening me and my family,” Guanzon bared in a press conference held on Wednesday.
“In the past, a few weeks ago, Mr. Cardema has denied this on television, denied that he is responsible for this. But these recent text messages are worst because they are now attacking my family,” she added.
Some of the text messages directly threatened her life, calling her “Satanas,” or Satan.
“Whether or not he is directly involved for this, I feel that Mr. Cardema should come out to the public and deny it because I want to hear him answer my accusation that his group or gang are threatening harm to myself and members of my family,” Guanzon said.
“There is a limit to what commissioners can ignore in this industry,” she said. “If you threaten me that’s fine. I can defend myself. If you threaten my family, and they have nothing to do with my work — and children should be off-limits in our conflicts — that’s another matter. You will answer to me,” she added.
But how could she be sure that the threats came from the camp of Cardema?
Guanzon said that the timing of the text messages was perfect.
She said that less than 12 hours after election lawyer Emil Marañon posted the decision on his Twitter page, she started receiving messages like: “Kunwari ka pa hindi ikaw ang gumawa!”
Guanzon was the acting presiding commissioner of the Comelec First Division which handled Cardema‘s case. The division chairman, Al Parreño was out on official business.
Under the 25-page resolution released last Monday, the Comelec denied the nomination of Cardema to be the party-list representative of the Duterte Youth due to “material misrepresentation,” which under Comelec Resolution No. 9366 is a ground for cancelation of a nomination.
“The Commission finds Respondent to have committed material misrepresentation on his qualifications,” the resolution read.
“The nomination of Respondent, Ronald Gian Carlo L Cardema, as the first nominee of Duterte Youth party-list, is hereby canceled,” read the last page of the resolution.