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Palace orders Duterte Youth's Cardema to vacate NYC post.

MALACANANG on Sunday ordered National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Ronald Cardema to vacate his post following his petition to substitute his wife, Ducielle Marie Suarez, as first nominee of Duterte Youth party-list.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the petition for substitution of Cardema as first nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list, as well as the Commission on Elections' confirmation that it was filed in timely fashion on May 12, connotes that he is considered ipso facto resigned from his present post.

'We understand that Mr. Cardema's petition has yet to be approved by the Comelec as the body is still currently tackling the procedural and substantive legalities of the same. Regardless of the outcome, we deem that Mr. Cardema has already abandoned his present position because his act of filing the petition absolutely reflects his intention to relinquish his office and exposes his desire to serve the government in a different capacity,' said Panelo.

Also, Panelo ordered Cardema to turn over all official papers, documents and properties in his possession to the Office of the President.

'The President shall soon appoint a person who can advance the genuine interests and welfare of our country's youth as the new chairperson of the NYC,' he added.

Earlier, the Comelec admitted that it made a mistake on the date of Cardema's filing of his substitution.

Comelec-Education and Information (Comelec-EID) Assistant Director Frances Arabe said Cardema filed his petition to substitute his wife on May 12, or on the eve of the 2019 polls.

During that time, Cardema's wife and the four other nominees of Duterte Youth withdrew their nomination.

On Friday, Comelec Spokesman James B. Jimenez said Cardema filed his petition for substitution on May 16 or after the elections.

Under elections rules, party-list substitutions are no longer allowed after the elections.

The discovery that the petition for substitution was filed on May 12, not 16, makes Cardema qualified to represent Duterte Youth in Congress, said Arabe.

She, however, stressed this still has to be decided by the Comelec en banc.

Among the factors to be considered by the en banc, Arabe said, is Cardema's possible violation in continuing to serve as head of the NYC despite being a nominee of Duterte Youth.

Based on the 2019 partial official results of the national canvassing as of May 18, Duterte Youth garnered 340,258 votes, making it the 20th party-list with the highest votes.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:May 20, 2019
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