DOJ asked to probe Cardema for presiding over NYC meeting after filing certificate of substitution
Malacañang asked on Tuesday the Department of Justice to investigate former National Youth Commission chairman Ronald Cardema who still presided over a meeting in the agency despite his last minute filing of a petition as a substitute nominee to a pro-Duterte party-list group before the Commission on Elections.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, said he received information Cardema still led a meeting at NYC on May 15, three days after the substitution petition on May 12 was filed.
Panelo earlier said that with Cardema's filing of a certificate of substitution before the poll body, he was deemed resigned.
"We have referred the case of Cardema to the DOJ, because we have received reports that despite his filing of a certificate of substitution, he presided over a meeting subsequent to that certification. So, we are referring the matter to the DOJ," Panelo said.
"Because if he is already resigned, how can he be presiding a meeting?" he added.
He said the justice department would determine Cardema's possible violation and if he should be penalized.
Panelo said it would be easy to check if Cardema presided over an NYC meeting on May 15.
"You know, if he really presided, that will be recorded, that’s supposed to be recorded. All meetings of the Commission are recorded, it will reflect, it will be there on the record. That’s very easy to determine and all you have to do really is to ask the Commissioners, who are the other Commissioners," he said.
Some quarters have been criticizing Cardema's last minute filing of a certificate of substitution for the Duterte Youth party-list organization. The critics have said this was a mockery of the party-list polls and a violation of the Comelec rule.
The Duterte Youth is one of the party-list groups which is assured of a seat at the House of Representatives after receiving the required percentage of votes nationwide.
Panelo said it would be up to Comelec if it would approve Cardema's certificate of substitution.
"Now with respect to being a supporter of the President (Rodrigo Duterte) - as we have already repeatedly said: ‘no allies, no friends, no supporters if they have committed any wrong will be tolerated by this government’," he said.
Panelo said the Palace was not even aware Cardema filed a certificate of substitution.
NYC is under the Office of the President. Celerina Monte/DMS