By Genalyn Kabiling
Former National Youth Commission (NYC) chair Ronald Cardema should just file a case against a poll official instead of dragging Malacañang and using the media for publicity, a Palace official said Sunday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Palace would not interfere with the conflict between Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Rowena Guanzon and Cardema.
Cardema earlier accused Guanzon of seeking political favors in exchange for the approval of the accreditation of the Duterte Youth party-list group representative during the last midterm elections. He has asked for President Duterte’s help to look into the alleged extortion by Guanzon against him.
But the Palace seemed to be in no mood to help Cardema even if his group supports the President.
“Unang-una, wala naman kaming pakialam sa ginagawa niya [First, we do not care about what he does]. We will never intrude into anything that does not concern the Palace. That’s between him and Commissioner Guanzon,” Panelo said in a radio interview.
“Kung mayroon siyang corruption charge, eh magdemanda siya [If he has a corruption charge, then file a case]. He doesn’t have to go to news media about it,” he added.
Panelo also took a swipe at Cardema for trying to drag the Palace in his dispute with Guanzon.
“Mag-file siya ng kaso [He should file a case]. Why does he have to drag the Palace into it?” he said.
“Alam mo kahit supporter pa yan ni Presidente, kapag mayroon bagay na ginawa niya na hindi maganda sa administrasyon, pinapabayaan na lang namin sila [You know even if he is a supporter of the President, when he does something that is not good to the administration, we will just let him be],” he said.
Cardema, in a press conference last Saturday, claimed that Guanzon allegedly asked for favors and money in exchange for his party-list group’s accreditation.
He made the remarks after the poll body’s first division junked the nomination of the 34-year-old aspiring lawmaker as party-list group nominee for exceeding the age requirement between 25 and 30 years old. The disqualification case is now under appeal.
Guanzon has denied the extortion allegation made by Cardema, saying she would not be intimidated into inhibiting from the case against Cardema’s congressional bid.
Last May, Malacañang announced that Cardema was considered resigned from NYC after he filed a petition for substitution as first nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list group.
Cardema was ordered to vacate his office and turn over all official papers, documents, and properties in his possession to the Office of the President,
Panelo admitted that Cardema did not inform President Duterte about his intention to substitute as Duterte Youth party-list group nominee, saying the Palace learned about his plan only from the newspapers.
“As far as we are concerned, he showed his disinterest in further serving the executive branch, then who are we to stop him,” he added.