By Leslie Ann Aquino
Former National Youth Commission Chairman Ronald Cardema was a “no show”during the third hearing of the petitions opposing his substitution as nominee of the Duterte Youth Partylist, Tuesday at the Commission on Elections.
Cardema’s lawyer Rani Angeli Supnet said he could not attend the trial due to emergency personal reasons.
During the hearing, the petitioners, through their lawyer, alleged that Cardema used his former position to advance the chances of his party-list group in the May 2019 midterm polls.
“He used his official position as NYC chair to campaign for Duterte Youth as he did not resign yet since he was not a nominee at that time,” Atty Emil Maranon said.
He added: This only proves our position that Mr Cardema’s substitution bid reeks of bad faith.
They also alleged that Cardema had used NYC funds to help finance his group’s campaign activities.
Cardema earlier filed a motion to become a substitute nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list after his wife Ducielle Marie Suarez, Duterte Youth’s first nominee, withdrew her acceptance to the nomination of the group along with the four other nominees of the party-list.
Since then, petitions have been filed at the COMELEC, questioning his qualification as a youth sector representative since he is already 34 years old.
Under the law, a nominee of the youth sector should be at least 25 years old but not more than 30 years of age on Election Day.