Guanzon to sue Cardema ‘all over the Philippines’ for libel
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Tuesday said she would file charges against Ronald Cardema “all over the Philippines” for his “libelous statements under oath.”
Guanzon is referring to Cardema’s Notice of Withdrawal dated September 13 where he cited Guazon’s alleged “public harassment” as the reason behind his withdrawal of nomination as representative of pro-administration party-list Duterte Youth.
“Ila-libel ko siya sa buong Pilipinas pero wait lang siya sa New Year para masaya naman Pasko nya. Ngayon under oath na yang sinabi nya na corrupt ako,” Guanzon told reporters in an interview at the House of Representatives.
“Kunwari saan ba pwedeng mag-surfing? Siargao. Oh, file (ako ng kaso) sa Siargao para maka-surfing ako on the side after,” she added.
Guanzon said she was “seriously aggrieved” by Cardema’s accusations and that he must be “taught a lesson that he cannot do this” to the Comelec or a commissioner of elections.
“He will be facing several lawsuits, aside from libel cases we will sue him for damage in Cadiz City for destroying my good name. He’ll have to face trial in our own town. Kung sa mga Ilonggo ba ‘mereze,’ he deserves it,” the Comelec official said.
Cardema said his withdrawal was meant to protect Duterte Youth party-list, which earned a seat in Congress in the May 2019 elections and allow the proclamation of other nominees of the group.
“(W)ith all humility I withdraw from my nomination to sacrifice myself for our party-list so that the Comelec can immediately release the Certificate of Proclamation of the Comelec-approved succeeding nominee and to give justice to the votes of 350,000 Filipinos whom we desire to immediately serve with their needed medical assistance, requested patriotic projects, and activities for nation-building,” he said.
However, Guanzon said Cardema’s withdrawal of nomination “has no effect” as the Comelec already disqualified his congressional bid when it canceled his nomination as representative of Duterte Youth.
The party-list law requires youth representatives to be from 25 to 30 years old.
Cardema is 34.
“Ano ba wini-withdraw niya eh disqualified nga siya? Irrelevant yan it has no effect. So what kung magwithdraw siya? Hindi basta basta file sila withdrawal dyan tapos sabihin nila paupuin na ‘yung number 2 (nominee) nila? Ano inuutusan mo kami? Sinuswerte ka naman!” Guanzon said.
Earlier, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said Cardema’s disqualification case would still continue as the poll body has yet to tackle the petition he filed withdrawing his nomination.
He said the Comelec law department will have to determine “whether the withdrawal was done properly” before the Comelec en banc deliberates on Cardema’s request. #
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