By Ben Rosario
Embattled former National Youth Commission chairman Ronald Cardema called entertainment personalities Dingdong Dantes and Ice Seguerra “yellow” and leftist as he decried their move to stop him from sitting as a congressman in the 18th Congress.
Cardema also assailed other former NYC officials who joined Dantes and Seguerra in calling for the “outright dismissal’ by the Commission on Elections of Cardema’s petition to be named Duterte Youth representative to the House of Representatives.
In a Facebook post, Cardema accused his fellow youth leaders of serving as “link in the government of “radical leftist youth leaders” who have been very critical of the government.
“Kaya malakas youth recruitment ng NPA Rebel allies kasi napabayaan niyo na sila lang nagsasalita sa bansa! Sino may tapang magsalita sa inyo para magcondemn sa ganun, WALA,” Cardema, a former Philippine Military Academy cadet, said. (The youth recruitment of allies of the NPA is strong because you allowed them to speak. Nobody among you has the guts to condemn them.)
Cardema has been the center of controversy after he resigned his post as NYC chairman to make a last-minute switch into becoming the Duterte Youth partylist nominee to the Lower House.
The partylist organization which he chairs filed a substitution of nominee a day before the election. Cardema’s name was listed as the top nominee of the pro-Malacanang youth organization, replacing his wife, Ducielle Marie, in the process.
Cardema’s Facebook post was in reaction to a statement issued by seven former NYC officials, namely: former chairpersons Gergoria Ramon Tiongson, Leon Flores III and Seguerra; and former commissioners Percival Cendana, JP Peno, Erwin Andaya and Dantes.
“For the sake of the Filipino youth who, until now, continues to yearn for and struggle with representation and empowerment at various levels, we implore the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to side with the Filipino youth and declare Cardema et al as unqualified and ineligible substitutes and to immediately reject their CONAs (Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance),” they said.
Cardema’s Facebook statement could be the first time he responded to criticisms hurled against him.
The pro-Duterte youth leader has been avoiding the news media since he made the controversial bid to become congressman by replacing his wife as the Duterte Youth first nominee.
He addressed his predecessors as “yellow” and leftist.
Cardema denied their accusation that he used NYC funds to finance the Duterte Youth campaign, pointing out that could have easily done that by using the “confidential travel funds” and “postage/printing funds” accessible to him.
According to him, nobody among the seven is courageous enough to fight anti-government youth leaders from recruiting young Filipinos to the communist CPP-NPA-NDF.
Cardema also accused his predecessors of failing to heed the examples set by youth ministries and council in Singapore, South Korea, China and Japan that led the youth “towards the spread of Nationalism, Discipline, Sense of Preparedness, Nation-Building training and National Service.”
Instead, the former NYC leaders concentrated the council’s spending at conducting “Gender Sensitivity Training” and workshops that were held in posh hotels.
“Pano magiging pag-asa ng bayan ang youth kung di niyo naman sila iga-guide sa paghahanda, sa nasyonalismo, at sa pagpapalakas ng bansang ito. Kala niyo naman ang gagaling niyo?” he stated. (How can we prepare the youth to become the hope of the fatherland if you can’t guide them to prepare, towards nationalism and towards strengthening this country. You are so convinced that you were good?”
According to Cardema the former NYC officials have done nothing to help youthful police officials, military officers and government troops” in the country who are killed in gun battles against enemies of the state.