Former National Youth Commission Chairman Ronald Cardema (Photo from an RTVM video)
MANILA, Philippines — Members of the House Makabayan opposition bloc have ganged up on Former National Youth Commission (NYC) chair Ronald Cardema amid his attempt to replace his wife and become the first nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list.
The bloc, composed of Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Gabriela Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should block Cardema’s bid to substitute his wife Ducielle Marie in the group backed by the administration and Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
READ: Don’t celebrate just yet, Comelec offical tells Cardema
“Hindi lang siya traydor sa NYC, traydor sya sa mga kabataang Pilipino. He’s actually electoral fraud and glitch personified sa lahat po ng ginawa niyang trapo moves,” Elago said during Makabayan’s weekly press conference.
Tinio meanwhile cited poll watchdog Kontra Daya’s conflict of interest allegations against Cardema.
READ: Probe NYC, Duterte Youth for use of gov’t funds, conflict of interest — poll watchdog
“Talagang ulupong itong si Cardema kasi nung panahon ng campaign sinisingil siya na may conflict of interest dahil nagka-campaign siya for Duterte Youth habang ‘yung asawa nya is first nominee…” he said.
Casilao, for his part, cautioned the resigned NYC chair from being one of the President’s rubber stamps in the lower chamber.
“Ito namang si Cardema, kapal ng mukha mo boy na baguhin mo na agad ‘yung Facebook status mo na incoming congressman… Kahit nasa Kogreso ka at ‘yung pinaggagawa mo wala namang kredibilidad at susunud-sunuran ka lang… tatlong taon na lang si Pangulong Duterte,” he said.
Castro meanwhile lamented how Cardema repeatedly vowed to represent Duterte and his administration.
“Sa mga maraming statement nya ang nire-represent nya raw ay ‘yung gobyerno at si Duterte, as if naman marginalized si Duterte at ang gobyerno,” she said.
The Makabayan group also vowed to file charges against government officials who led the vilification campaign against them. Among those, they said, were Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde and Armed Forces of the Philippines Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Brigadier General Antonio Parlade.
The group is also poised to file a resolution seeking a “thorough investigation” into the failures and alleged anomalies in the midterm polls. The anomalies and failures according to them, include alleged vote-buying, use of public fund in campaigns, fraud in the seven-hour glitch after the polls, the breakdown of hundreds of vote counting machines, and the identification of over a thousand defective SD cards.
Zarate said they see the return of the “genuine” opposition in the House with the seeming victory of four of their party-lists in the 18th Congress but refused to give further details because they would rather wait for the official proclamation of Comelec.
Tinio further said: “We’re here and we will be back (in the) 18th Congress sa kabila ng walang kaparis na atake at mobilisasyon ng buong makinarya ng Duterte administration laban sa Makabayan.” (Editor: Cenon B. Bibe Jr.)
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