By Leslie Ann Aquino
Poll watchdog group, Kontra Daya believes National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Ronald Cardema should quit his post or take a leave of absence because of his links to party-list group, Duterte Youth.
“During the campaign period, it would do well for Ronald Cardema to take a leave of absence or resign from his position as NYC Chair,” the group said in a statement.
“Aside from projecting some delicadeza, this is one way he can assuage suspicion of abuse of power and authority,” it further read.
Kontra Daya noted how Cardema is actually the chair of Duterte Youth, while its first nominee, Ducielle Marie Suarez is his former wife.
It added that Duterte Youth’s fifth nominee is found to be Elizabeth Anne Cardema.
“Is Duterte Youth really representing the interest of the youth or just the Cardema family considering that its chair and two nominees are all related?” Kontra Daya asked.
“Doesn’t this pose a conflict of interest given his position in government?” the group added.
Kontra Daya said Cardema also need to explain whether or not government funds and resources have been used to help in the ongoing campaign of Duterte Youth.
“Ronald Cardema should be reminded that the use of government funds and resources is a clear violation of the Omnibus Election Code,” it said.
Kontra Daya called on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to investigate Cardema and his current involvement with the Duterte Youth, particularly any conflict of interest and the use of government funds and resources.
“COMELEC should address the issue of how Duterte Youth got accredited given all these questions, especially the fact that Cardema himself was already part of government when the group filed for its accreditation. Were there no red flags raised as to the possible use of public funds for the party-list group? Was COMELEC even aware that Ronald Cardema is married to the first nominee of Duterte Youth?” the group asked.
Cardema earlier earned flak for his call to cancel government scholarships of students who participate in anti-government protests.