A nation pins its hopes on the youth, so goes an adage. But it may be argued that there is an exception to every rule.
The erstwhile head of the National Youth Commission, Ronald Cardema, is a sterling example what we do not hope the youth to be.
The Palace on Sunday said it deemed Cardema resigned from his post after he had filed a petition with the Commission on Elections to substitute for his wife in being first nominee for the party-list group Duterte Youth.
We don’t usually agree with Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, but on this we do: "Regardless of the outcome, we deem that Mr. Cardema has already abandoned his present position because his act of filing the petition absolutely reflects his intention to relinquish his office and exposes his desire to serve the government in a different capacity," he said.
"The Palace therefore requires Mr. Cardema to vacate his office forthwith and turn over all official papers, documents, and properties in his possession to the Office of the President," he said.
We would take the matter one step further and urge the Commission on Elections to junk the 33-year-old Cardema’s petition if only for his glaring failure to meet the requirement of the youth sector representative being no more than 30 years old on the day of the elections.
What was this not-so-young man thinking?
Cardema had been in the news in February after urging the President to issue an executive order removing the government scholarships of students critical of the government.
In a statement, Cardema “reminded” the scholars that “the Filipino people formed the government to govern, to regulate, to discipline, to collect taxes and to allocate the Filipino people’s funds into government scholarships and programs. Fighting the government means fighting the majority of the Filipino people and also not fulfilling their roles as the expected breadwinners who will uplift their families and as our hope in strengthening our country.”
He only qualified his statement when he received flak from the Palace and lawmakers alike.
The Palace is correct to order Cardema to leave as soon as possible; such brazenness, opportunism and a sense of entitlement do little to advance the cause of the NYC and the “marginalized” group he seeks to represent in Congress.
Cardema does a disservice to the millions of young Filipinos who love their country deeply, who find a way to contribute to their causes, who speak out against injustice, and who ignored the oppressive heat in last Monday’s election just to cast their votes. May his ilk never prosper.