Cardema disqualification case still on; Comelec yet to tackle withdrawal bid
MANILA, Philippines — The disqualification case against Ronald Cardema will still continue as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to tackle the petition he filed withdrawing his nomination as Duterte Youth party-list representative in Congress.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said Tuesday the Comelec Law Department has to first determine “whether the withdrawal was done properly” before the Comelec en banc deliberates on Cardema’s request.
“In the meantime, there are still pending petitions against them. So the language of the resolution notwithstanding, wala namang instant, so this has to go to the process and then again at some future point, the en banc will have to decide how to dispose of this particular incident,” Jimenez said in an interview.
According to the Comelec official, if the en banc rules to junk Cardema’s withdrawal bid, the status of the disqualification case against him will continue.
But if the en banc decides to approve Cardema’s withdrawal plea, no seat would still be given to Duterte Youth party-list because of several pending petitions against it at the poll body.
“I think what they’re trying to do with this resolution is they’re trying to make it appear that Mr. Cardema’s nomination is the only problematic one when in fact there have been petitions filed,” Jimenez pointed out.
“So again, it all really depends on how those petitions go, whether or not this resolution will affect those pending petitions and any other combinations of outcomes, we’ll have to wait and see,” he added.
Jimenez was then asked if Cardema’s repeated attempts to secure nomination could be a ground for the disqualification of Duterte Youth party-list, the Comelec spokesman replied on the negative even citing an instance when a party-list had no representative for an entire term due to misrepresentation issues of its nominees.
“There are other rules, violations of which would resolve in disqualification. There are other conditions that might resolve in disqualifications. But this is not one of them,” Jimenez said referring to Cardema’s case.
In his request to withdraw his nomination as Duterte Youth party-list representative, Cardema cited the alleged “public harassment” of Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon. He also said that he was doing it “to sacrifice myself for our party-list.”
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