National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairperson Ronald Cardema gatecrashed and engaged in an “unscheduled” heated debate with Kabataan Partylist Representative Raoul Manuel on Saturday, Oct. 1.
At the “Pandesal forum”, Manuel was pleading for the resignation of Cardema as NYC chairman due to alleged massive corruption and mismanagement of funds in the commission.
Minutes later, Cardema stormed into the stage, grabbed a chair, seated next to the moderator, and started berating Manuel.
The moderator then clarified that the meeting of Manuel and Cardema was not scheduled and he thought the latter was in Laguna.
“Nagsalita ako kahapon tinanong ko bakit mo sinasabing corrupt and mismanaged ang NYC. Wala ka man lang binanggit kung sinong nagkurakot sa NYC at kung magkano (I asked yesterday if how were you able to say that NYC is corrupt and mismanaged. You did not even mention names who are corrupting NYC and for how much),” said Cardema right after settling on his seat.
He was a guest at the same forum on Friday, Sept. 30.
He then asked the party list representative to show evidence supporting the said “accusations” against NYC stated at a plenary meeting last Sept. 27.
Cardema also said that he was not given the chance to speak up during the plenary session.
Manuel rebutted that government officials in fact have an avenue to relay their sentiments through the legislators or sponsors of their budget.
“It’s just that mahirap talagang sagutin o ipaliwanag ‘yun mga nabanggit natin sa loob ng kongreso. ‘Yun naman po ay ayon sa mga findings ng ating Commission on Audit (It is just that it was hard to answer or explain the opened issues at the Congress. Thoese were based on the findings of the Commission on Audit),” he added.
Manuel noted that government officials should not take these kinds of allegations personally and that they should be ready to face any issues thrown at them.
“Walang pong personalan dito (No one should take this personally),” Manuel said.
Cardema, in a shouting manner, kept on insisting Manuel to share information and show evidence regarding the alleged corruption in the commission.
The heated debate lasted for over an hour and the two also argued about issues of red-tagging and NPA recruitment.
“Nagpapaulit-ulit ang tanong ko tungkol sa NPA bakit hindi niyo kinokondena ang NPA recruitment ng mga kabataan (I was inquiring repeatedly about NPA and why are you not condemning the NPA recruitment in the youth),” the NYC chair asked.
In response, Manuel said that the question was an example of ” how a government official does not understand the reality of rebellion in our country.”
Manuel called the youth commission chair “nakapabastos” for cutting him off while speaking.
The argument which only revolved around corruption, red tagging, and NPA recruitment ended with a handshake and a photo while holding pandesal.