Cardema’s party should have been dismissed – Comelec’s Guia

Paterno Esmaquel II
Cardema’s party should have been dismissed – Comelec’s Guia
Commission on Elections Commissioner Luie Tito Guia says Ronald Cardema's party-list group Duterte Youth should not have been accredited in the first place

MANILA, Philippines – Ronald Cardema in Congress?

Cardema’s party-list group Duterte Youth should not have been accredited in the first place, said Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Luie Tito Guia.

Guia was part of a 3-member Comelec division that initially voted to junk the accreditation of Duterte Youth. 

Cardema’s party appealed the Comelec Second Division’s ruling before the 7-member en banc, or the commission sitting as a whole. The en banc then overturned the earlier division ruling and allowed Duterte Youth to join the party-list elections.

In the en banc, Guia had also voted to junk the accreditation of Duterte Youth. 

In his dissenting opinion dated January 28, Guia said Duterte Youth was late in submitting the required documents in its motion for reconsideration, and that its excuse of “unintentional oversight” was not enough.

“Petitioner’s belated submissions of required documents in its motion for reconsideration only confirms the deficiencies found by the Commission (Second Division),” Guia said.

“While it is true that the Commission may liberally apply its rules, said treatment remains to be the exception rather than the rule and must only be made only upon presentation of convincing arguments and proof, which would warrant a different treatment. Here, Petitioner’s alleged ‘unintentional oversight’ fails to persuade in view of the several procedural errors it committed,” he added.

Guia maintained his position when the Comelec en banc voted on whether to approve Cardema’s nomination as substitute nominee of Duterte Youth.

The Comelec voted 5-1-1 to approve Cardema’s substitution. The poll body released this decision on Tuesday, June 4.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon was the lone dissenter, saying Cardema’s substitution bid – which failed to meet the deadline while Cardema was also overaged – is an “unabashed mockery and assault to our democratic processes.” 

Guia abstained.

“I abstain to be consistent with my earlier vote to deny the accreditation,” Guia said. – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.