The Commission on Elections has the jurisdiction to decide on the petition of former youth commissioner Ronald Cardema to be a substitute representative of party-list group Duterte Youth in the House of Representatives which is facing “at least 10” oppositions, and not Congress.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the Comelec’s en banc has yet to resolve the 10 petitions filed before the poll body opposing Cardema’s last-minute bid as first nominee of the party-list that clinched a seat in the recent May 13 midterm polls.
But according to party-list coalition president and 1-Pacman party-list Representative Michael Romero, Cardema’s case is considered out of Comelec’s jurisdiction and the case should be resolved by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.
“Duterte Youth was already proclaimed a winner in the recent elections and the matter was already out of the Comelec’s hands,” Romero explained.
It cited a law that the Senate and the House of Representatives’ respective electoral tribunals have jurisdiction over all protests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members.
Under House rules, an individual may only be deemed a member of the House of Representatives if there is a valid proclamation, a proper oath, and assumption of office.
But Jimenez said that what was proclaimed was the party-list and reminded the House to look at the jurisdiction of HRET.
At this point, this is about nominations pa eh, so that’s still under Comelec’s jurisdiction,” Jimenez said.
“The proclamation of the Duterte Youth party-list as winner stays. The question is who will sit,” he added.
Jimenez insisted that the substitution bid has not been decided because of the opposition.
Cardema filed his substitution bid to replace his wife Ducielle Suarez as first nominee of Duterte Youth on May 12 at 5 p.m. or less than 24 hours before the May 13 elections.
While the winning party-list groups were proclaimed two days ago, the nominees of each winning party-list group have yet to receive their certificate of proclamation.
Cardema’s substitution bid is being opposed because he is overage at 33 years old. Under the law, a party-list representative should only be between 25 to 30 years old.