Guanzon: No qualified Duterte Youth party-list nominee? Blame Cardema
MANILA, Philippines — Commissioner on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Thursday said that Ronald Cardema’s actions left the Duterte Youth party-list without a qualified nominee to represent the group in Congress.
“We are a democratic country governed by the rule of law. We are not governed by the rule of sympathy. The law is the law. The people voted for one seat but nobody is qualified. Who is to blame? Cardema is to be blamed. His wife could have qualified but he changed her last minute,” Guanzon said in an interview on Abs-CBN News Channel.
Cardema filed his application for substitution as the party-list group’s nominee last May 12, after the original nominees of the party-list group, including his wife Ducielle Marie, withdrew their nominations.
The Comelec’s First Division, however, denied Cardema’s nomination, saying that he committed a misrepresentation on his age when he filed his nomination.
Under the party-list law, anyone running as a youth sector representative should be between 25 and 30 years old.
Cardema is already 34 when he filed his application.
Following this denial, Duterte Youth filed a new list of nominees, which also included Cardema as the top nominee as well as Ducielle Marie who earlier withdrew her nomination.
Guanzon said Ducielle Marie has to testify to explain her re-inclusion in the list.
“She has to testify, if at all this will go all the way to a hearing, she has to testify. Why is your name in the list again? Is this your own voluntary will? You were not forced by anyone? Because if she at first said she is incapable or no longer able, why is she able now?” Guanzon pointed out. / gsg
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