MANILA - Actor and former National Youth Commission (NYC) chief Dingdong Dantes has called out Ronald Cardema for seeking to become a substitute nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list group.
In a Facebook post Monday, Dantes said Cardema should have resigned as soon as he decided he wanted to be a party-list representative.
"Kung may balak siyang maging Congressman noong una pa lang, nararapat lang na nag resign siya bilang NYC Chairman. Pwede bang nagising na lang siya isang araw at nag-decide na trip niya?" he wrote, adding Cardema's position as NYC chair could have given him an unfair advantage during the campaign period.
He also lamented how the country's youth chief may have abused and circumvented the party-list system.
"Nakakalungkot na bilang pangunahing representante ng kabataan ay lumalabas na nakikisali siya sa pag-abuso at pag-circumvent sa Party-List system. Gusto man nating isipin na totoo ang kanyang hangarin, marami siyang dapat ipaliwanag kung paanong nag-withdraw lahat ng nominado ng kanilang Party List at sa biglaan niyang pagpasok bilang substitute ng kaniyang asawa na siyang number one nominee. Eto ba ang values na gusto natin ituro sa mga kabataan?" Dantes wrote.
Dantes, likewise, asked the new set of lawmakers to look into the party-list system and ensure that different sectors in society get to be represented well.
"Sa ating mga bagong mambabatas, please look into the Party-List system. Ipagtanggol at palakasin po sana niyo ang mekanismong nagbibigay espasyo sa mga sektor na marinig ang kanilang mga boses. Wag niyo po sana hayaang masalaula ito ng mga taong uhaw o nalulunod sa kapangyarihan," he wrote.
He also told Cardema that he was in the best position to serve the young people, if that was what he really wanted.
"At sa'yo Mr. Cardema, if you really want to serve the young people, you are already in the best position to do so," Dantes wrote.
Cardema has filed a petition to become the substitute nominee for the Duterte Youth party-list group.
Duterte Youth’s original mominees are Ducielle Marie Suarez, Joseph M. de Guzman and Benilda C. de Guzman along with 2 others. However on May 12, 2019, all 5 nominees of the group filed their notices of withdrawal and simultaneous with Cardema’s substitution as the party-list nominee.
Under the Party-list System Act, a nominee of the youth sector must not be more than 30 years of age on the day of the election. Cardema is 33.
Cardema defended his move, claiming he is not too old to represent the party.
As of 7:00 p.m. Monday, Duterte Youth received has 346,676 votes or 1.26 percent, based on 98.28 percent of partial and unofficial election returns.
The party-list will need to secure 2 percent of the total votes in the party-list race to get at least one slot in the lower chamber during the first round of seat allocation. A party-list group can get up to as many as 3 seats.