Guanzon eyes libel raps vs Cardema


    DISQUALIFIED Duterte Youth party-list nominee Ronald Cardema is not yet out of the woods.

    This as Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon yesterday said she is looking at filing libel charges against Cardema for accusing her of being corrupt.

    “Seriously, Cardema stated under oath that I extorted favors and money from him. This is libelous,” said Guanzon in her Twitter account (@commrguanzon).

    “He stated under oath that I am corrupt. He will answer for that. I will file libel and damage suits against him until he is very old,” Guanzon said.

    Guanzon was referring to Cardema’s statements in his notice of withdrawal, where he reiterated his previous claims that Guanzon allegedly forced favors from the party-list supposedly in exchange of her approval of their registration with the poll body.

    Cardema had also labeled Guanzon as the “corrupt colleague” of the Comelec en banc.

    According to the poll official, she is looking to file a case against Cardema in her hometown of Cadiz City, where she served as mayor from 1988 to 1992.

    “I will not allow him to destroy my good reputation and family name. I will file a suit for damages in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental,” she said, adding: “I will bankrupt him with all the cases that I will file against him.”

    In a chance interview at the House where she attended the floor deliberations on the P4.1-trillion proposed national budget for 2020, Guanzon said she will file libel complaints against Cardema “all over the country.”

    “I will file libel charges against him everywhere in the Philippines but he should first wait for the New Year so that he’ll be able to enjoy the Christmas season,” Guanzon told reporters.

    “Where can we go surfing? In Siargao. File the case in Sirago so I can go surfing on the side after. I am seriously aggrieved by this libelous statement under oath.  He should be taught a lesson that he cannot do this to our institution, he cannot do this to a commissioner of elections while his case is pending,” she added.

    Guanzon said Cardema’s wife, Ducielle Marie Cardema, who is the second nominee of Duterte Youth, will not automatically sit as a congresswoman even if his husband has already withdrawn his bid.

    “Can you just withdraw just like that? What’s that, magic? Automatic? Aren’t we the Comelec? And the exclusive task to study and judge such cases is well within our powers? They can’t just file a withdrawal and say that their second nominee will sit. So you’re ordering us? You’re pushing your luck!” she said.

    Last Friday, Cardema filed his notice of withdrawal as the first nominee of Duterte Youth before the Comelec.

    Cardema said his “sacrifice” aims to pave the way for the poll body to already issue the Certificate of Proclamation of Duterte Youth.

    But according to Guanzon, it is up to the Commission to decide what to do with Cardema’s notice of withdrawal. – With Wendell Vigilia