Comelec cancels Cardema’s nomination as Duterte Youth representative


THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) has cancelled the nomination of former National Youth Commission chair Ronald Gian Carlo L. Cardema as Party-list Duterte Youth representative. “(T)his Commission reiterates its unmistakable conclusion based on facts, law, and jurisprudence, that Respondent Ronald Gian Carlo L. Cardema is not eligible for nomination to represent Duterte Youth in the House of Representatives,” Comelec said in its resolution issued on Monday. Thirty-four year old Cardema petitioned to replace his wife Ducielle Marie Suarez-Cardema, who was the first nominee of Duterte Youth. Under the law, youth sector representatives should be between 25 to 30 years old. Duterte Youth later campaigned as a partylist that represents “young professionals.” Election Lawyer Emil Marañon III, who filed the petition to cancel Mr. Cardema’s nomination, said in a Tweet: “We are happy to announce that with the vote of 2-0, the Comelec First Division has granted our Petition…” The Comelec commissioners who voted were Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon and Marlon T. Casquejo. — Gillian M. Cortez

‘Bikoy’ seeks witness protection

PETER JOEMEL Advincula — the self-confessed “Bikoy” in videos that tagged some members of the family of President Rodrigo R. Duterte as being involved in the illegal drug trade — has applied to be placed under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) in connection with the sedition complaint filed against Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo and 35 others. Mr. Advincula filed his application for WPP through his lawyer, Lorenzo G. Gadon. In the letter addressed to Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, he requested to be under protective custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP). “With the different prominent political figure and various influential personalities that I divulged and disclosed during the series of investigation conducted by the Philippine National Police particularly, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), my life and the life of my family and security is at risk,” he said. Mr. Advincula is named both as respondent and witness in the complaint filed by the PNP-CIDG last month, which covers sedition, inciting to sedition, cyberlibel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice. The others accused include prominent lawyers, politicians, and church leaders, who were allegedly involved in the so-called Project Sodoma. The Department of Justice is set to start the preliminary investigation on the complaint on Aug. 9. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas