Palace won’t meddle in Cardema, Guanzon tiff
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Sunday told disgraced Duterte Youth party list nominee Ronald Cardema to refrain from unnecessarily drawing President Rodrigo Duterte into his quarrel with Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he saw no reason why the President should intervene on behalf of Cardema, who had accused Guanzon of demanding political favors from him in exchange for the accreditation of the party list group named after the Chief Executive.
“First of all, we don’t care about what he’s doing. We will not intrude into anything that does not concern the Palace,” Panelo said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.
Don’t drag Palace
“If he has corruption allegations, then he should just file a case. Why does he have to drag the Palace into it?” he said.
Told that Cardema was one of the President’s staunchest supporters, the Malacañang official said: “Even if you are a supporter of the President, when you do something wrong in the administration, we will just let you be.”
Panelo, also the presidential legal adviser, had disclosed that the Palace had asked the Department of Justice to look into reports that Cardema still presided over a meeting of the National Youth Commission on May 15 despite filing a certificate of substitution in the Comelec days earlier.
He said that Cardema might have violated the law since he should have vacated his post after informing the election body of his intention to replace his wife as first nominee of their party list group.
On Saturday, Cardema appeared at a press conference and accused Guanzon of unlawfully asking P2 million from their group.
He also claimed that she demanded the designation of a lawyer as a regional trial court judge in Iloilo province and of another as public works head in Negros province.
But Guanzon vehemently denied the allegations, pointing out that Cardema did not have the authority to grant her supposed demands.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.