Comelec asked to rule first on Cardema's pending issues

By Ferdinand Patinio

September 19, 2019, 9:07 am

<p>Former National Youth Commission chairperson and Duterte Youth party-list nominee Ronald Cardema. <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Former National Youth Commission chairperson and Duterte Youth party-list nominee Ronald Cardema. (File photo)

MANILA -- Election lawyer Sixto Brillantes on Wednesday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to resolve pending cases and issues filed against disqualified Duterte Youth party-list nominee Ronald Cardema first before taking action on his withdrawal as nominee of the group.

In a five-page letter addressed to Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas, Brillantes said the poll body should not immediately act upon the latest action of the group’s chairman as there are other issues pending, including his Motion for Reconsideration (MR) on his disqualification case pending before the en banc, the petition to have Duterte Youth's registration cancelled, as well as his corruption allegations against Commissioner Rowena Guanzon.

"We respectfully and humbly pray that the Honorable Commission en banc and/or the Chairman defer in the meanwhile any action on Cardema's notice of withdrawal until the Resolution on Cardema’s MR; and until such time that the grounds and reasons cited by Cardema for the said withdrawal shall have been duly investigated and its truthfulness or falsity is confirmed and verified," Brillantes said.

He noted that the MR should be resolved first to avoid questions over the validity and legitimacy of Cardema's nomination as a substitute nominee of Duterte Youth.

"Since Cardema is not withdrawing his MR, it would be the duty and obligation of the Commission to first resolve the said motion and should the Commission en banc decide to affirm the Resolution of the First Division rejecting Cardema's substituted nomination, it should as a consequence similarly reject Cardema's request to withdraw the same for he cannot withdraw an invalid substituted nomination," the election lawyer added.

The former Comelec chairman also said a ruling is needed on the pending petition for the cancellation of the registration of Duterte Youth as a party-list.

"In the greater interest of justice and to avoid circuitous litigation, there is a need for a full and conclusive resolution," he added.

He also asked the Commission to look into the allegations the Duterte Youth official made against Guanzon, particularly on her supposed corrupt activities.

"A formal investigation of Cardema's claims, assertions, and allegations expressed in writing and even made public should warrant an investigation. And if subsequently shown to be untrue, false, and fabricated, the same should warrant a rejection and denial of Cardema's request for withdrawal," he said.

Last Friday, Cardema filed his withdrawal as the first nominee of Duterte Youth at the Comelec.

In the notice, he claimed that Guanzon allegedly asked favors from them supposedly in exchange for her approval of their registration. (PNA)