MALACAÑANG on Sunday, May 19, directed National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson Ronald Cardema to vacate his office in the wake of his bid to become the substitute first nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Cardema is "considered ipso facto resigned from his present post."
The youth leader was asked to turn over all official papers, documents, and properties in his possession to the Office of the President.
Panelo said Cardema abandoned his NYC post when he filed his petition for substitution before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
"Regardless of the outcome (of his petition), 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 added.
Panelo said the Comelec has confirmed that the petition was filed in time on May 12, although it has yet to approve Cardema's bid.
The commission is still tackling the procedural and substantive legalities of Cardema's petition.
Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to appoint soon a new NYC chairperson.
Cardema filed his petition after his wife Ducielle Marie Suarez withdrew as Duterte Youth's first nominee.
Under Comelec Resolution 3307, a party-list nominee may only be substituted if he dies, or his nomination is withdrawn by the party, or he becomes incapacitated to continue as such, or he withdraws his acceptance to the nomination.
No substitution, however, shall be allowed by reason of withdrawal after the close of polls, added the Comelec resolution.
In any of the aforementioned cases, Comelec rules provide that the name of the substitute nominee shall be placed last in the list of the group's nominees.
Cardema's name is not on the list of nominees filed by Duterte Youth. Aside from his wife, other nominees are Joseph de Guzman (2nd), Benilda de Guzman (3rd), Arnaldo Villafranca (4th), and Elizabeth Anne Cardema (5th).
As of Friday, May 17, Duterte Youth was at 22nd place with 275,979 votes. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)