'Series of illegalities': Groups to question Duterte Youth proclamation before SC

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2020 09:24 AM | Updated as of Sep 28 2020 12:43 PM

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MANILA - A lawyer said on Monday that several groups would question before the Supreme Court the impending proclamation of the Duterte Youth Party-list group. 

Ducielle Cardema, wife of former National Youth Commission chair Ronald Cardema, is set to occupy a House seat after Comelec granted the party a certificate of proclamation despite its supposed failure to complete the registration process, according to lawyer Emil Marañon, legal counsel of several groups against the Durtete Youth. 

"It’s absolute nullity, it’s void ab initio. This is the most unconstitutional act committed by Comelec in its 80-year history. We stand by this rule, we have never seen a non-candidate being proclaimed ever before," he told ANC.

The party-list group did not complete the registration process nor did it undergo public hearing which is part of the process, Marañon claimed.

He also said that the Comelec allowed Ronald Cardema to substitute for his wife and other nominees hours before the May 2019 elections. He was later found to be ineligible as a youth sector nominee since he did not meet the age requirement.

"Ang problema namin is, bakit inallow na naman po ito ng Comelec? There are so many rules that have been violated. The Duterte Youth has been exempted from so many rules and regulations. Bakit nababali po ang batas pag Duterte Youth ang involved. The finale of these illegalities is the proclamation of Ducielle Cardema," Marañon said.

(Our problem is why did the Comelec allow this. There are so many rules that have been violated. The Duterte Youth has been exempted from so many rules and regulations. Why can the rules be bent when the Duterte Youth is involved?)

There are 2 pending cases against the Duterte Youth and its nominee, he added.

"Bakit po prinoklama kung merong prejudicial cases against Ducielle Cardema? This is a series of illegalities we tend to take up before the Supreme Court," Marañon said.

(Why proclaim Ducielle Cardema when there are prejudicial cases against her?)

The groups also believe that the party-list system is being bastardized, according to Marañon.

"Mababa na nga po yung respeto or tingin ng taumbayan sa party-list system, mas bababuyin pa natin ang party-list system. Sakin po simpleng-simple lang, masyado na pong garapalan. Yun po ang exact term ng aking collaborating counsel na si Sixto Brillantes Jr na unfortunately he passed away po," he said.

(People do not respect the party-list system and we continue to bastardize it. It's too much, as my collaborating counsel Sixto Brillantes Jr, who unfortunately passed away, has said.)

"What we are trying to fight for here is, dapat manumbalik ang respeto ng taumbayan sa party-list system natin at sa ating mga institusyon."

(What we trying to fight for here is to restore the people's respect of the party-list system and of our institutions.)

The Comelec has yet to provide a date when it would issue the certificate of proclamation for Duterte Youth as one commissioner has yet to sign it, Marañon said.