By Genalyn Kabiling
The Department of Justice is expected to conduct an inquiry into former National Youth Commission (NYC) chair Ronald Cardema amid complaints about alleged wrongdoing, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the justice department will study whether or not to file charges against Cardema over reports that he allegedly presided over an agency meeting even after filing a petition to be a substitute nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list group.
The DOJ will also look into allegations that Cardema allegedly used his government post to campaign for the party-list group, according to Panelo.
“With respect to being a supporter of the President, as we have repeatedly said no allies, no friends, no supporters if they committed any wrong will be tolerated by this government,” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.
“We refer the case of Cardema to the DOJ because we have received reports that despite his filing of a certificate of substitute, he presided over a meeting subsequent to that certification,” he added.
Panelo said he already talked to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra after he got a complaint about Cardema from an anonymous text sender. The complainant claimed Cardema held a meeting with NYC officials last May 15, days after his supposed resignation from office.
“I just talked a while ago to the DOJ secretary. He will study the matter,” Panelo said.
“If he really presided, that will be recorded. All meetings of the commission are recorded. It will reflect, it will be there on the record. It’s very easy to determine and all you have to do is to ask other commissioners,” he added.
Asked if Cardema may face possible complaints of usurpation of authority, Panelo said: “That’s for the DOJ to decide what kind of violation that he has committed.”
Malacañang earlier said Cardmena was deemed resigned after he sought to become a party-list substitute nominee last May 12. He has been asked to vacate his office and turn over official documents to the Office the President.
Panelo earlier said Cardema did not inform the Palace about his party-list plans, adding they only learned about his substitution petition in the newspapers.