By Leslie Ann Aquino
Members of the youth sector, on Tuesday asked the Commission on Elections to reject the withdrawal of the nominees of the Duterte Youth, and also reject the new set of nominees that the partylist group submitted last week for making a “mockery of the law.”
“We urge the Honorable Commission to end this mockery of the law, of the partylist system and even of this Commission,” read the 17 page petition letter addressed to the Comelec en banc.
“That this another wave of ‘merry-go-round’ of nominees of Duterte Youth is not just a clear violation of Republic Act 7941…but a blatant insult to the intelligence of this Commission and of the whole nation, thus, should not be allowed at all cost,” it further read.
Petitioners represented by former poll chief Atty Sixto Brillantes and Atty Emil Maranon also pointed that the withdrawal of nominations and acceptance of nominations were made beyond the period allowed by COMELEC Resolution No. 9366.
Under Rule 4 Section 4 of the Resolution, “withdrawal of nomination or acceptance of nominations shall be in writing and under oath, and filed with the Law Department of the Commission in Manila before the close of polls”.
They also cited COMELEC Resolution No. 3307-A which prohibits the substitutions of party-list nominees by reason of withdrawal after the closing of the polls.
“In other words, it can no longer be made after the May 13, 2019 elections. The withdrawal of Duterte Youth’s nominees and the acceptance of nominations by the substitutes are more than two months late,” the petitioners said.
The petitioners said the latest withdrawal and substitution attempt was a ploy to ensure that the Cardema can occupy seats in Congress.
“The obvious motive is to secure the congressional seat to Ronald Cardema’s wife, Ducielle, should the cancellation of the former’s nomination is affirmed by the Comelec en banc,” they said.
“Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Commission to reject the withdrawal of the nominee nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Duterte Youth Party-List in so far as to effect a movement in its submitted list of nominees and accordingly to reject the substitution for reasons/grounds cited,” said the Oppositors.
Last week, the Comelec First Division declared Duterte Youth partylist first nominee Cardema as ineligible for being overaged.
Later, the group submitted a new set of nominees to the poll body with Cardema and his wife Ducielle as first and second nominees, respectively.