Cardema seeks reversal of Comelec ruling disqualifying him as Duterte youth nominee

Published August 14, 2019, 5:35 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Leslie Ann Aquino

Former National Youth Commission chairman Ronald Cardema is seeking a reversal of the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division disqualifying him as first nominee of the Duterte Youth partylist.

Former National Youth Commission chairman Ronald Cardema (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Former National Youth Commission chairman Ronald Cardema

In his motion, Cardema’s camp insisted that he did not make material misrepresentation when he declared that he was eligible to be the party-list’s nominee.

“There appears to be no basis for the Honorable Commission to rule that respondent made material misrepresentation by claiming he is eligible to be the first nominee of Duterte Youth when he is already 34 years of age or beyond the maximum age set by law for nominees of the youth sector,” read his motion for reconsideration.

“Again, Duterte Youth represents not only the youth sector but also the sector of young professionals,” it further read.

Cardema said to limit the qualifications of Duterte Youth’s nominees to the age bracket of 25 to 30 would be gravely erroneous, considering that young professionals are devoid of legal meaning and definition.

“The fact that they chose respondent to represent them as first nominee only mean that they do not limit its definition to those within the age bracket of 25 to 30 years old. This decision, being internal to the party, ought to be respected by the Commission,” read the motion.

Cardema then urged the poll body to “take a second look at the foregoing arguments and to reconsider, reverse, and set aside the August 5 Resolution for being contrary to law and the evidence on record.”

“It is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Commission that this Motion for Reconsideration be granted and that the August 5 Resolution of the First Division be reconsidered, reversed, and set aside,” it said.

Last week, the Comelec First Division declared Duterte Youth partylist first nominee Cardema as ineligible for being overaged since, under the law, a youth sector party-list representative must be between 25 to 30 years old.

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.

Meanwhile, the Comelec has yet to rule on the withdrawal of the nominees of the Duterte Youth, and the party-list’s submission of a new set of nominees.

“It was deferred to another week to be studied. But one of the primary issue is whether or not they can submit a new list after May 13. Now, once we determine that we can move on with the other issue whether they are qualified or not,” Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said in an interview.