MANILA (UPDATE) - Former youth commissioner Ronald Cardema on Monday said the Duterte Youth Partylist will pursue criminal charges against election official Rowena "Bing" Guanzon for alleged extortion.
Over the weekend, Cardema had accused Guanzon of demanding cash and favors since January in exchange for the accreditation of his group Duterte Youth Party-list.
"Pwede kayong kasuhan d'yan (You can be charged for that). Kakasuhan namin kayo (We will sue you) for extorting from us for accreditation," he told ANC's Early Edition.
Cardema added that they are also considering filing an impeachment complaint against Guanzon.
"Sa impeachment complaint, kung may tutulong sa'min, sa tingin ko meron pang inagrabyado 'to, di lang kami sa tinagal-tagal na niya. Meron pa ngang mga kumausap samin na pati sila dinali nito dati," he said.
(Regarding an impeachment complaint, if others will help us. I think there are more victims since she served for so long. There were others who talked to us that they were also victimized.)
Guanzon, in a tweet, said filing an impeachment complaint was one of Cardema's options.
"I told you he will an impeachment complaint. Is it a betrayal of public trust to declare him DQ (disqualified) because he is overaged? All his moves are out of spite because he lost his dream of having millions in pork barrel funds," she said.
Guanzon has been vocal about her opposition to 34-year-old Cardema's nomination, which the Commission on Elections (Comelec) canceled as the law requires youth representatives to be from 25 to 30 years old. Cardema is 34.
Cardema said he was being targeted by Guanzon because he was her last chance to leave a legacy.
"Sabi ng isang commissioner sa'kin (A commissioner told me), ‘pare, this is the last national election of Bing Guanzon, and you are the last national election issue. Ikaw na lang ang (You are his only) claim to fame niya,'" he said.
Cardema reiterated that he and his partymates were not behind threats against Guanzon and her family.
"Paulit-ulit siya, 'Tinethreaten ni Cardema 'yung pamilya ko.' 'Yung pamilya ko, threatened abortion na 'yung wife ko. Yung tatay ko 50-50 na sa ospital," he said.
(She keeps repeating, Cardema is threatening my family. My family, my wife has a threatened abortion. My father is 50-50 at the hospital.)
"Mamatay na kami politically and literally sa kakasaksak ni Commissioner Guanzon pero ang totoo siya ang kriminal dito."
(We are in danger of dying politically and literally because of Commissioner Guanzon but the truth is she's the criminal here.)
Cardema added that the one who told them to file a new set of nominees, which includes himself and his wife, was the emissary of Guanzon, a congresswoman he refused to identify.
The commissioner warned that the seat the Duterte Youth won in the May elections might remain empty due to Cardema's insistence that he is qualified to sit as party-list representative.
Cardema said he no longer cares about the House seat and that the partylist will instead focus on their advocacy.
"Wala na akong pakialam sa seat namin sa Kongreso. Meron kaming advocacy, lumalaban kami sa kaliwa, pinagtatangol namin ang mga sundalo at pulis," he said.
(I don't care about our Congress seat. We have an advocacy, we fight the left, we fight for soldiers and policemen.)
"Wala kaming pakialam ngayon kung makaupo kami, ang sinasabi ko, for the past more than 6 months hawak mo kami sa leeg."
(We don't care if we seat in Congress. What I'm talking about is for the past more than 6 months, Guanzon has been holding us by the neck.)