Groups oppose proclamation of ‘Duterte Youth’ partylist representative

Published September 26, 2020, 9:09 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Over 120 youth groups on Saturday, Sept. 26, said they would challenge before the Supreme Court the impending proclamation of Ducielle Cardema as a representative for the Duterte Youth partylist group.

(photo from Facebook)

Calling it “illegal and unconstitutional,” the broad network of youth organizations, student councils, and campus publications declared their commitment in a united stand to block Duterte Youth from assuming a seat in Congress.

During a budget hearing last Thursday, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sheriff Abas said the poll body issued  a certificate of proclamation to Ducielle two weeks ago.

Duterte Youth won one seat in the 18th Congress but has not been able to assume its post in the Lower Chamber as petitions were filed against it before the Comelec. 

“We will continue to uphold and fulfill our role as the Pag-asa ng Bayan. Every tyranny by the ballot will not go unanswered; perpetrators will not go unscathed,” they said in a statement.

“If the Comelec commissioner will proclaim the Duterte Youth and, in record, bastardize the partlylist and electoral system, we will bring the fight to them. We will start with the Supreme Court,” they stressed.

The youth groups said Ducielle should not be proclaimed since Duterte Youth is unregistered and has several pending cases per the Omnibus Election Code.

She became the Duterte Youth’s first nominee after her husband and now National Youth Commission (NYC) commissioner Ronald Cardema withdrew his nomination. 

“Under this law, the partylist should have never been included in the 2019 ballots for failure to meet the minimum requirements of publication and registration,” they cited.

Student councils and youth organizations said the Duterte Youth is not a real partylist with a clear constituency representing the youth.