Guanzon on Cardema: Why extort from someone poor?
MANILA, Philippines—Why would I “extort” money from a poor person?
This was the argument made by Election Commissioner Rowena Guanzon after Ronald Cardema alleged that she tried to extort P2 million from the party-list group that Cardema claims to represent, Duterte Youth, in exchange for the group’s accreditation.
“Why would I ask him for P2 million when I know he’s poor? I mean, he looks poor, I think he’s poor,” Guanzon said in an interview with ANC on Monday (Aug. 18).
“I’m just saying as the matter of fact that I think he is poorer than me. I think I have more money than him, that’s what I mean,” she said.
Guanzon also said that instead of demanding an examination of her and her alleged emissaries’ phones for incriminating text messages, Cardema should present his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth or SALN.
“Why doesn’t he submit his SALN to the public and I’ll submit my SALN to the public. I dare him to show me that he has so many cash in the bank. I dare him!” Guanzon said while laughing.
Guanzon was referring to Cardema’s allegations at the weekend that Guanzon wanted to be paid her bribe first before she signed the accreditation papers of Duterte Youth, which was formed by supposedly die-hard Duterte supporters among the youth.
Cardema further claimed that Guanzon had asked for the appointment of a lawyer as a regional trial court judge in Iloilo, and of another individual as public works regional director in Negros.
But Guanzon denied all the allegations against her.