The Supreme Court has been asked to nullify the decision of the Commission on Elections to allow Duterte Youth party-list Rep. Ducielle Marie Cardema to take a seat in the House of Representatives.
Youth leaders led by Aunell Ross Angcos asked the high court to issue an order and/or writ of preliminary injunction against the Duty to Energize the Republic Through the Enlightenment of the Youth Sectoral Party List Organization (Duterte Youth Party-List) represented by its founder and chairman and National Youth Commission Commissioner Ronald Gian Cardema, his wife Ducielle and the Comelec.
The petitioners questioned the legality of the Comelec Minute Resolution 20-0382 mandating the proclamation of Ducielle as representative of the Duterte Youth Party-list in Congress.
The petitioners said the Comelec En Banc committed a grave abuse of discretion when it prematurely issued Minute Resolution 20-0382 without its Second Division first resolving the pending prejudicial questions.
In particular, the petitioners said the Comelec should have first resolved the issue that the Duterte Youth Party-list was not even a duly registered party-list organization under the law.
“That said proclamation was deceptively, deliberately and maliciously issued to assure Duterte Youth of a seat in Congress, bypassing a pending prejudicial case where the evidence of Duterte Youth’s non-registration is not only very strong and apparent, but admitted by all parties and evinced by Comelec’s own record,” the petitioners said.
The Comelec had allowed Ducielle to sit as a representative in the 18th Congress, replacing her husband Cardema, who was found by the Comelec as ineligible as their party-list’s representative because he was over-aged.
Under the law, a youth sector party list representative must be between 25 and 30 years old. Cardema is 34.
While Minute Resolution 19-0849 and 19-0850, both dated Aug. 28, 2019, allowed the Duterte Youth to submit its second substitute nominees, it was almost three months after the deadline set by the poll body.
The petitioners also asked the high court to resolve on the procedural question on whether it is the high court, and not the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, that has jurisdiction to inquire if the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in proclaiming Duterte Youth’s first nominee Ducielle.