No Duterte Youth representative can sit until Cardema case resolved — Guanzon

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THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) started its hearings yesterday on former National Youth Commission chair Ronald Gian Carlo L. Cardema’s petition to be the Duterte Youth party-list’s first nominee. Comelec Commissioner Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon said during the hearing, “While this case is pending, no one can sit as Duterte Youth.” Ms. Guanzon was the only commissioner who opposed giving due course to Mr. Cardema, citing that he is not qualified to be a youth sector representative being 34 years old. Under the law, youth party-list representatives must be 25 to 30 years old. Mr. Cardema filed a petition to replace his wife, Ducielle Marie D. Suarez-Cardema, who was recently granted a withdrawal of her Certification of Acceptance of Nomination along with the four other Duterte Youth nominees last June 4. The same resolution granted Mr. Cardema “due course” regarding his petition for substitution. Ms. Guanzon also raised questions regarding Duterte Youth supposedly representing both the youth and young professionals when a party-list should focus on one sector. Election lawyer Emilio Marañon III, who represented the petitioners against Mr. Cardema’s substitution, said Duterte Youth is not permitted to represent both sectors considering Mr. Cardema “himself knew he was representing the youth sector.” — Gillian M. Cortez