August 19, 2019
Malacanang distanced itself on Monday over the case of former youth commissioner Ronald Cardema before the Commission on Elections ( Comelec) and his word war with one of the poll body's commissioners.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte respects the independence of the Comelec and Cardema's issue with Commissioner Rowena Guazon was between the two of them.
"Well, the case between Mr. Cardema and Commissioner Guanzon, I think it’s between the two of them. Moreover the President respects the independence of any constitutional body so the President will never, has not and will never interfere on any function of the commission, as well as other constitutional bodies," he said.
The Comelec has cancelled Cardema's nomination as a substitute for the Duterte Youth Partylist, which got a seat in the recent May elections, on the ground that the law requires that youth representatives must be 25 to 30 years old. Cardema is 34.
The case is still pending before the poll body.
But Cardema, who never gave up, had accused Guanzon of extortion from his group. Guanzon has been vocal against Cardema's nomination in the youth party-list group.
Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, said if Cardema has evidence against anyone, he could just file the appropriate charges.
"The President as President will enforce the law. Now anyone who feels that the law has been violated is free to file appropriate charges against whomsoever and let the law takes its course," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS
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