Ex-Youth Commissioner Dingdong Dantes slams Cardema for ‘abuse’ of party-list process

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 20) — Former National Youth Commission (NYC) head Dingdong Dantes on Monday slammed the move of current chairperson Ronald Cardema on party-list representation.

In a Facebook post, Dantes slammed Cardema’s action, saying that the latter only contributes to the “abuse” of the party-list system in the country.

Cardema’s issue was thrust into the spotlight when he filed a petition for substitution as the first nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

“Clearly, if the petition will be granted, parang na-railroad ang (it’s like you’re railroading) democratic process of choosing the rightful representative,” Dantes wrote on his official page.

Kung may balak siyang maging Congressman noong una pa lang, nararapat lang na nag resign siya bilang NYC Chairman. Pwede bang nagising na lang siya isang araw at nag-decide na trip niya?” the actor added.

[Translation: If he had plans to be Congressman before, he should have resigned as NYC chairman. Is it possible that he just woke up one day, and decided that he suddenly wanted to do it?]

Gusto man nating isipin na totoo ang kanyang hangarin, marami siyang dapat ipaliwanag kung paanong nag-withdraw lahat ng nominado ng kanilang Party List at sa biglaan niyang pagpasok bilang substitute ng kaniyang asawa na siyang number one nominee. Eto ba ang values na gusto natin ituro sa mga kabataan?” said Dantes, who was appointed NYC commissioner back in 2014.

[Translation: While we would like to believe his reasons, he has a lot to explain—on how all the party-list’s nominees withdrew, and why he’s aiming to enter as substitute. Is this the value we would like to teach our children?]

Dantes also urged lawmakers to look closely into - and even strengthen - the party-list system.

Malacañang previously said Cardema is deemed resigned from his post following the substitution petition. In a media briefing Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo added Cardema has not informed President Rodrigo Duterte of his decision.

READ: COMELEC 'intensely' studying Cardema's party-list substitution plea

Cardema, on the other hand, clarified that he has submitted all proper documents regarding his petition on time.

“We have filed all the proper documents for substitution on time and we are qualified to represent the Duterte Youth Party-List & the Filipino People who voted for us, inside the Philippine Congress,” Cardema said in a statement Monday.