Ex-Comelec chief blocks Cardema bid as Duterte Youth rep

Ex-Comelec chief blocks Cardema bid as Duterte Youth rep

MANILA, Philippines — Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Tuesday led the filing of a petition to formally oppose Duterte Youth’s latest list of nominees that still included the controversial former National Youth Commission chair Ronald Cardema as its first nominee, despite his disqualification.

Cardema’s wife, Ducielle Marie, was named as the party list group’s second nominee.

Brillantes, along with lawyer Emil Maranon, represented the petitioners belonging to the youth sector in asking the poll body to reject the withdrawal and the substitution of a new set of nominees last week by Duterte Youth, and said that the proadministration party list was making “a mockery of the law.”

The petitioners were among those that previously filed a petition to cancel Cardema’s nomination, which was granted by the Comelec’s First Division.

“We urge the honorable commission to end this mockery of the law, of the party list system and even of this commission,” the petitioners said.

“This another wave of ‘merry-go-round’ of nominees of Duterte Youth is not just a clear violation of Republic Act [No.] 7941 … but a blatant insult to the intelligence of this commission and of the whole nation, thus, should not be allowed at all cost,” they said.

In an interview, Brillantes stressed that the group’s withdrawal and substitution of nominations were made beyond the period allowed by Comelec rules.

Cardema’s wife was part of Duterte Youth’s original set of nominees, who simultaneously withdrew their nominations on May 12, a day before the elections, paving the way for Cardema and other new nominees to file for last-minute substitution.

Along with the Cardemas, Guillermo Villareal Jr., Krizza Reyes and Robert Garcia also filed for substitution with the Comelec.

The Comelec is expected to tackle the group’s refiling of substitute nominees on Wednesday.