By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday took a swipe at aspiring congressman Ronald Cardema for his supposed greed for power.
Lacson posted a cryptic tweet pertaining to the former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson while he lauded the involvement of Hongkong youth in the resistance to the passage of an extradition bill in their legislative council.
“The Hong Kong millennials are the world’s inspiration. They keep going back to the streets each time with a vengeance, defying teargas bombs and water cannons,” Lacson wrote.
“Our ‘youth sector’ party-list representative abandons them for one and only one reason: self-seeking greed for power,” he added.
While Lacson did not name names, netizens identified Cardema as the person being referred to in the senator’s statement.
Cardema has been insisting his eligibility to be a substitute representative of the pro-administration Duterte Youth party-list in the 18th Congress.
This, after the group’s initial five nominees, including his wife Ducielle Marie Suarez, withdrew their nomination due to various explanations.
Groups, including former NYC leaders, opposed the move as they questioned Cardema’s qualification as a youth sector representative since he is already 34 years old.
During the recent hearing of the Commission on Elections, however, Cardema’s camp argued that the group does not represent the youth, but “young professionals.”
Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe agreed with President Duterte, who, on Wednesday, denounced the abuse in the country’s party-list system.
Duterte, in a speech in Cagayan de Oro, lamented how marginalized sectors were deprived of representation in Congress by “rich people”.
“They are named after laborers but their nominees are the millionaires so they stay in power there,” the President said.
Poe, when asked to comment Thursday, noted how the current laws paved the way for the abuse of the party-list system.
She also cited the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision saying that party-lists are not only for the marginalized and underrepresented sector.
“Sana, kung magkakaroon talaga ng reporma sa partylist, nagpapakatotoo lang si Presidente, sinabi niya ‘yon, e makapasa sa Kongreso. Ang problema, kung marami na ring partylist doon, paano natin gagawin ‘yon,” she told reporters in Bulacan Thursday.
Poe also hit Cardema, saying, “Siguro dapat talaga ay rebisitahin kasi ‘yung iba representative daw ng youth, hindi naman bata.”