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Palace hands off in Guanzon-Cardema row

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang said it would not intrude in the dispute between former National Youth Commission (NYC) chief Ronald Cardema and Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Rowena Guanzon. 

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Cardema on Saturday urged President Rodrigo Duterte and the Supreme Court (SC) to probe Guanzon’s alleged extortion against him. 

But the Palace said they would not meddle in the issue. 

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“Wala naman kaming pakialam sa ginagawa niya. We will never intrude into anything that does not concern the Palace. That’s between him and Commissioner Guanzon,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer. 

Cardema, who was disqualified from being the nominee for Duterte Youth Party-list, claimed that Guanzon hired an emissary to ask him for favors in exchange for the approval of the accreditation of the party-list group in time for the May 2019 polls.

“Humihingi kami ng tulong sa Pangulo. Kapag ganitong level na literally na durog na durog na kami, baka naman pwede kami humingi ng tulong sa Pangulo,” Cardema said during a press conference in Quezon City. 

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READ: Cardema cries extortion; all for publicity, says poll exec

Panelo said Cardema should instead file a corruption charge against Guanzon instead of “dragging” the Palace into it. 

“Kung meron siyang corruption charge edi magdemanda siya. He doesn’t have to go and use media about it. Magfile siya ng kaso. Why does he have to drag the Palace to it?” Panelo said. 

“Kahit pa supporter ni Presidente, kapag mayroong bagay na ginawa yan na hindi maganda sa administration, pinapabayaan na lang namin sila,” the presidential spokesperson added. 

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Meanwhile, Guanzon questioned the validity of Cardema’s claims. 

“Cardema held a presscon accusing me of demanding a favor in exchange for registration of his PL. wey???!  Didn’t I vote yes to the registration of his PL? how come no Judge related to me was appointed?” Guanzon said in a tweet. /je

READ: Guanzon to Cardema: ‘Study your case, get a good lawyer’

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