Manila, Philippines– Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo has ordered National Youth Commission Chairperson Ronald Cardema to quit from his post, following Cardema’s decision to substitute for his wife, Elizabeth, as the first nominee of the Duterte Youth Party-list.
“The Palace therefore requires Mr. Cardema to vacate his office forthwith and turn over all official papers, documents, and properties in his possession to the Office of the President,” Malacanang said in a statement.
Panelo explained that Cardema’s move to replace his wife as first nominee means that he is considered to be ‘ipso facto’ resigned from his post.
“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,” Panelo added.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has yet to decide on Cardema’s petition.
Comelec’s Education and Information Department Director Frances Arabe said Cardema filed the petition on May 12, a day before the elections, contrary to earlier reports that it was filed on May 16.
The deadline for substitution was at 6 p.m. on Election Day, May 13.
Under the Party-list System Act, a nominee of the youth sector must not be more than 30 years of age on the day of the election. Cardema is now 33 years-old.
Latest tally showed that the Duterte Youth party-list has obtained 346,314 votes. The party-list will need to secure 2 percent of the total votes in the party-list race to get at least one slot in the House of Representatives. (Rappler photo)