Guanzon dares Cardema to name 'emissary'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2019 10:46 AM | Updated as of Aug 23 2019 11:17 AM

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MANILA - Poll commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Friday challenged former youth commissioner Ronald Cardema to name the female lawmaker who allegedly acted as her emissary.

"I have many congresswoman friends so I dare him to name her in an impeachment complaint because that is the proper venue instead of lying to the public in trying to get sympathy," Guanzon told ANC's Headstart.

Cardema earlier accused Guanzon of using an emissary to ask for money in exchange for the accreditation of his group Duterte Youth Party-list. The commissioner, however, said Cardema's accusations are only diverting the public from the real issue.

"It's distracting us from the issue that he is disqualified to sit as a congressman of a youth sector," she said.

In a timeline released to the media during the Duterte Youth Party-list's first general assembly, the group claimed that Guanzon's "emissary" asked for "favors and money" from Cardema on Jan. 16, saying "that the only way to get Duterte Youth approved is through majority vote."

The party-list claimed they knew they already had 4 "sure votes" for their party-list accreditation.

On Jan. 25, the same emissary allegedly called Cardema again and "tried to make it appear that Comm. Guanzon's signature (5th signature already) is the determining factor for the approval of the Duterte Youth Party-List" and forced Ronald Cardema to "keep end of the bargain."

Cardema also claimed that the emissary told him that Duterte Youth would get Guanzon's signature on its accreditation if he lobbies for the appointment of a regional trial court judge in Iloilo and a Department of Public Works and Highways regional director.

He said the emissary was "from Congress."

"If he had any transaction with that congresswoman he should just name her because now he admits that he committed (or) attempted bribery against a Comelec commissioner," Guanzon said.

Guanzon has been vocal about her opposition to 34-year-old Cardema's nomination. The Comelec has ruled Cardema cannot sit as party-list representative for the youth because the law requires youth representatives to be from 25 to 30 years old.

"The facts will show that I objected to Cardema's substitution on May 12 replacing his wife because he's disqualified," she said.

She added that it was Cardema's "bad luck" that the case was raffled to her division.

"And then to his malas again, the presiding commissioner went on leave and I became acting presiding commissioner of the division. So now, instead of 1 vote, we got 2 votes because the other commissioner from Davao studied it well and decided after the hearing that he is disqualified, he is overaged."

"So now, to get back at me he will say all these things," she said.

Guanzon has also accused Cardema of being behind death threats against her and her family.