Party-list reps: ‘Up to Comelec to decide on Duterte Youth rep’
MANILA, Philippines — Two party-list coalition members have distanced themselves from Ronald Cardema, saying the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has the sole jurisdiction on identifying the qualified nominee of the Duterte Youth party which won one House seat.
Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) Rep. Raymond Mendoza said they continue to accept the Duterte Youth as a member of the Party-list Coalition Foundation, Inc. (PCFI) but it’s up to the poll body to determine its rightful nominee.
“Definitely, ang member ng PCFI ‘yung Duterte Youth… ang tanong na lang dun kung sino ang magiging representative nila and PCFI is not in the position to comment kung sino ‘yung ia-approve because that belongs to the purview of the Comelec…” Salo said during PCFI’s weekly forum.
“We fully respect that particular exercise of power and jurisdiction of Comelec,” he added.
Mendoza, for his part, pointed out that the Duterte Youth representative that the House will acknowledge is one who has a certificate of proclamation and acceptance from the Comelec.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon earlier said no certificate of proclamation will be given to the Duterte Youth yet following the disqualification of Cardema, a former National Youth Commission chair.
Salo meanwhile said Duterte Youth is risking another failure by renominating Cardema despite his disqualification to represent the pro-administration party.
“Choice nila (to insist Cardema), discretion nila ‘yun if they’re going to push for it but of course they run the risk of still having the same decision by Comelec…” he said.
Progressive Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago meanwhile welcomed the cancelation of Cardema’s nomination, saying it exposes the party’s self-interest and violation of election rules.
“Wine-welcome po ito ng mga kabataan dahil nakita ng mga kabataan sa buong bansa kung ano ‘yung tunay na nire-represent ng Duterte Youth, hindi para sa kabataan kundi para lang sa sariling interes dahil dun sa pag-ikot ng mismong batas ng party-list systems, paglabag sa mga provision ng Omnibus Election Code at ‘yung mismong naging moves nila para mailagay lang si former NYC chair Cardema,” Elago said in a separate press briefing.
Elago also denounced the supposed threats being hurled by Cardema’s camp against Guanzon. /muf
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