By Analou De Vera
Former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson Ronald Cardema on Friday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for a 25-day extension to file his counter-affidavit on a complaint filed against him for material misrepresentation.
Cardema asked the Comelec’s law department for him to file the necessary documents until January 7, 2020. The deadline was supposed to be on Friday, December 13. He personally filed the “motion for extension of time” at the Comelec head office in Intramuros, Manila.
“It is most respectfully manifested that while the respondent is more than willing to comply with the said directive, he is constrained to seek indulgence of this Honorable Office and pray that he be given an additional period of 25 days from December 13, 2019 or until January 7, 2020 within which to submit his Counter Affidavit,” said Cardema in his three-page motion for extension.
Cardema said that he needed an extension to avail the assistance of a lawyer.
“Such extension of time shall be used by the Respondent to secure the services of a lawyer who will assist him in preparing his Counter-Affidavit in order to protect his interests,” said Cardema.
Cardema also noted that his motion was “filed not to delay the proceedings but solely due to the aforementioned reason, all in the interest of justice and fair play.”
To recall, the poll body issued a subpoena last month against Cardema–requiring him to appear and submit his counter affidavit and other supporting documents at the Comelec for the material misrepresentation case filed against him.
Cardema was accused of violating Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code or for material misrepresentation over his age qualification, when he declared himself as an eligible nominee of the Duterte Youth Party-list group during the recent May 2019 National and Local Elections.
The age requirement for the representation of a youth sector organization should not be older than 30 years old. Cardema was 34 years old when he filed his nomination as representative of the Duterte Youth Party-list.
The complaint was filed by certain private individuals namely Michael Navarez, Abigail Aleli Tan, and Sean Angelo Thakur.